Saudi Arabia’s development in culture, heritage and environment

Abdullah bin Bijad Al-Otaibi
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The Saudi royal decisions issued few days ago constitute an important development in the government’s planned restructuring to improve flexibility and reorganize governmental work at both the institutional and individual levels.

Comprehensive changes

The new Saudi Arabia has been working hard to bring about comprehensive historic changes in all fields, political, economic, cultural and military. One of the most important steps that have been taken is abolishing the former Supreme Councils and settling with two councils, one for politics and security and another for economy and development.


They keep looking for any shortcomings in government performance or any conflict between institutions in order to achieve the best possible government performance, whether by splitting some overburdened ministries and institutions or by merging some institutions with independent bodies or ministries, as Saudi Vision 2030, which is led by the Saudi crown prince himself, stated that eliminating supreme councils and establishing the Council of Political and Security Affairs and the Council of Economic and Development Affairs have enhanced efficiency, competency and speeded decision-making, adding that efforts will continue to push in this direction to be more flexible in keeping up with the requirements of the national vision to achieve its priorities.

Everything that’s happening in Saudi Arabia is based on plans that have been made public. Observers or those concerned need only review Saudi Vision 2030 and its associated programs, like the National Transformation Program, the Citizen Account Program, the Quality of Life Program and the Government Restructuring Program.

Vision 2030 said about the latter program: “Around the world, governments are organizing themselves with agility, continuously restructuring and aligning their systems to national priorities. We have already started moving along this path,” adding: “These reforms have helped to speed strategy development and decision-making, as well as enhance performance. We will continue this careful restructuring, comprehensively and gradually, based on our clear priorities.”

The new Saudi Arabia has become internationally acclaimed in media outlets around the world as they are observing its developments, decisions and its political and economic trends

Abdullah bin Bijad Al-Otaibi

A new ministry

Thanks to the government’s interest, cultural works, artistic activities and taking care of history, monuments and the environment have noticeably and quickly developed within three years. This has been achieved via establishing institutions, committees and by making huge investments. Thus the royal decree announcing the establishment of a Ministry of Culture was the outcome of earlier progress.

Culture is much more important than to be combined with the information ministry. The young prince Badr Al-Farhan was chosen to head the culture ministry, given his experience and successes in all the positions he has held, and to achieve the dreams and execute future projects that lay out new basis which harmonize with the vision and push towards implementing it.

Selecting individuals to lead institutions and projects and revising these decisions with efficiency and transparency, as stated in the Vision, have become a permanent fixture for the Saudi government. Choosing the most suitable one according to the variables and ambitions is what governs all royal orders that have come out with new appointments that included a number of ministries and government bodies.

Regarding history, heritage, monuments and holy sites, the royal decrees announced establishing the Royal Commission for Mecca City and Holy Sites and the administration under the name of managing the Historical Old Jeddah project. As for the environment and the natural reserves, the royal decrees ordered establishing the Council of Royal Reserves to reorganize this vital sector in a way that gets rid of all shortcomings that have affected this important work that secures a better future for coming generations in Saudi Arabia and in the world.

New horizons

This a new Saudi Arabia that is paving its way towards a better future. It is witnessing a major transformation at all levels, amid a huge developmental experience and forming a new model comparable to the major experiences around the world whether Japanese, South Korean, Singaporean or other similar experiences. Building a distinctive and successful model is one of the most difficult major transformations that take countries and communities to new horizons.

The new Saudi Arabia has become internationally acclaimed in media outlets around the world as they are observing its developments, decisions and its political and economic trends. It has become the center of attention for investors with its huge projects and the diversified visions which extend to the future.

Everyone is seeking to become a partner of Saudi Arabia and is competing to win its approval and work with it. This is the way states are built with decisiveness, determination, continuous development and effective flexibility.

This is a brief of the developments taking place in Saudi Arabia. It is not intended to praise but to describe and analyze and to provide summaries for the transformation of a country like Saudi Arabia into a dynamic workshop to achieve dreams and aspirations with a broad cultural transition that aims to place the country on the world map in a completely new form and to have its deserved position and status.

The Saudi citizen no longer believes anything is impossible but has the conviction that opportunities, projects, mindful planning and continuous efforts pave the way for civilization’s transformation on a daily basis with enlightened thoughts and strong will. Whoever is concerned can observe this transformation in the streets of Saudi Arabia, in its ambitious youth and in its pioneering projects.

Results silence critics

How many criticized the decision of forging an Arab coalition to support legitimacy in Yemen? How many criticized Saudi Arabia for defending its interests and the interests of the Arab countries in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and others? How many criticized the decision to stop depending on oil as the sole source of revenue? Facts have become clear for everyone now.

The Yemen war is witnessing a clear retreat for the Iranian-backed Houthi militias. Yemen is just about to get rid of the Khomeinist Persian rule. The Hodeidah Port is being liberated by the might of the Yemeni army, the resistance and the coalition forces.

Houthi groups are fleeing from various fronts. Their leader orders but they refuse to obey, and he demands them to stand their ground but they flee. The Iranian project is facing an international coalition led by the US. Meanwhile, the diversity of the Saudi economy has become well-known as every investor and dreamer has ambitions to be part of it.

Finally, what is going on in Saudi Arabia is a model for development, an experiment in progress and an example to be emulated. Every ambitious person should observe it and contemplate how to benefit from it.

This article is also available in Arabic.

Abdullah bin Bijad al-Otaibi is a Saudi writer and researcher. He is a member of the board of advisors at Al-Mesbar Studies and Research Center. He tweets under @abdullahbjad.

Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not reflect Al Arabiya English's point-of-view.
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