Yesterday in Riyadh, the scene was different despite the “crisis” the country is going through due to the unfortunate death of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi whose political stances are well-known.
The Khashoggi incident has angered the Saudi leadership which has launched an investigation into the case and revealed the details.
The scene in Riyadh yesterday could have been even more astonishing. However, it still expressed Saudi economic power as is evident in the announcement of deals worth $50 billion with major global companies including Trafigura, Total, Hyundai, Norinco, Schlumberger, Halliburton and Baker Hughes.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, the miracle-maker of Dubai and Vice President of the United Arab Emirates, attended the Riyadh conference and met with King Salman. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashed is known for his development vision not just in the region but around the world.
Commenting on a photo of him with the great Muslim Arab leader, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum wrote on Twitter: “During the meeting with the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques – may God protect him, the Kingdom’s march toward development is ongoing, and it’s a driving force of the world’s economy.”
Saudi Arabia encompasses an area, which is double that of France and Germany combined and more than two times the size of EgyptMashari Althaydi
This is a small glimpse of the Saudi economic prowess and an efficient tool in Riyadh’s hand, which it uses for international development and cooperation via its impressive and renewed investment initiatives.
There is another power exclusive to Saudi Arabia that no one can compete with – the pride of the two holiest Muslim mosques, Makkah and Medina. Saudi Arabia is the birthplace of Islam and the cradle of Arab spirit.
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This is in addition to its location and geopolitical value. Saudi Arabia encompasses an area, which is double that of France and Germany combined and more than two times the size of Egypt.
On the yardstick of youths embracing the future, Saudi Arabia is the biggest user of YouTube per capita in the world, according to BBC. The Saudis also account for 40 percent of Twitter users in the Arab world.
All this, combined with the honesty, transparency and accountability in the Khashoggi case, makes us say that what we are seeing is an “artificial” storm that will die its natural death.
This article is also available in Arabic.
Saudi journalist Mashari Althaydi presents Al Arabiya News Channel’s “views on the news” daily show “Maraya.” He has previously held the position of a managing senior editor for Saudi Arabia & Gulf region at pan-Arab newspaper Asharq al-Awsat. Althaydi has published several papers on political Islam and social history of Saudi Arabia. He appears as a guest on several radio and television programs to discuss the ideologies of extremist groups and terrorists. He tweets under @MAlthaydy.