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What Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 Plan Has Achieved in Its First 5 Years

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman revealed a strategic plan in 2016 to transform the country’s economy, elevate the roles of women in society, empower Saudi youth, highlight the Kingdom’s history, and improve the overall quality of life.

Five years on, Saudi Arabia’s Council of Economic and Development Affairs revealed the goals that the country has already obtained, which fall under three major themes- “vibrant society,” “prosperous economy” and “ambitious nation.”

These are the most notable and progressive achievements under the Vision 2030 plan that Saudi Arabia has excelled at…

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Saudi Women Saw a Significant Amount of Empowerment

From being able to drive, to being appointed to high profile positions, women in Saudi Arabia obtained many new rights over the last 5 years, including being able to travel abroad without the permission of a male guardian, and being able to obtain full custody of their children in a divorce. Legislation to protect the personal and professional rights of Saudi women was implemented and saw the percentage of Saudi women in employment rise from 19% in 2017 to 34% in 2020. The Kingdom also saw women join the armed forces, become judges, join governmental and municipal councils, and much more.

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Easy & Quick Access to Emergency Services

Saudi Arabia’s Council of Economic and Development Affairs said that access to emergency health services within 4 hours has become a lot more efficient. It sat at a sub-par 36% prior to Vision 2030 coming into play, and has now improved to an impressive 87%. The Kingdom has also seen an improvement in road management and has seen a significant decrease in road traffic fatalities.

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Saudi Citizens Are Investing In Their Own Homes

The Council of Economic and Development Affairs revealed that the number of Saudi citizens who own their homes has increased from 47% in 2016, to 60% today as housing assistance has become more accessible.

Meshaal Al-Shammary, director of Housing VRP 2030’s studies and research department told Arab News: “This is in parallel with increasing the supply of housing units at reasonable prices, implementing programs specialized in securing housing for society’s underprivileged, developing and improving the legislative and regulative environment for the housing sector, and maximizing the sector’s impact on the overall economy.” 

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Public Participation in Sporting Activities

The Saudi sports sector was minimal prior to Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman’s progressive reforms. Over the last 5 years, the Kingdom has welcomed both men and women to participate in sporting activities such as fencing, running, cycling, martial arts and golf – to name just a few. From local clubs to competing at an international level, the country is striving to be more health conscious.

“It helped develop sectors related to life quality, such as sports, entertainment, culture, tourism, and others. It has also created job opportunities and diversified sources of income and contributed to GDP (gross domestic product),” said Khalid Albaker, acting chief of marketing and communications at the Quality of Life Program in a statement to Arab News

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Local History, Culture & Wildlife Made Accessible to Tourists

Saudi Arabia is home to a number of historical sites and endangered natural resources. Highlighting the Kingdom’s culture, history, and atmospheric beauty, the number of accessible heritage sites that can be visited by tourists now sits at 354, from 241 in 2017. These sites have also created new jobs within the tourism sector, which have also contributed to the country’s economy in a significant way.

Prior to the Vision 2030 reforms, tourism was limited to the Two Holy Mosques, but since then, the Kingdom has opened its doors to tourists from all over the world as the kingdom began to issue e-visas to people wanting to attend events such as MDLBeast, Saudi Arabia’s first ever electronic music festival. AlUla has become one of the most significant and exciting sites to visit over the last 2 years as it hosted festivals, cultural events and even became the backdrop for high fashion shoots. 

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Digital Diversity Increased

According to the council, Saudi Arabia has become a digitally competitive nation, and ranked at number 6 among the G20 states in the Global Cybersecurity Index of the International Telecommunication Union, having expanded WiFi connectivity from 1.2 million homes in 2017 to 3.5 million by 2020. “Both residents and corporations in Saudi have benefited from well-established infrastructure. The majority of government transactions are made online, enhancing services delivery and easing business transactions,” said Ibrahim Al-Hudhaif, a business development specialist at Sulaiman Abdul Aziz Al-Rajhi Holding Co.

With so much more achieved, and yet to be achieved, can’t wait to see what is to come for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

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