It is now almost four years since then Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman announced his "Saudi Vision 2030" plan, a key theme of which was to provide the country with a "thriving economy" by "investing significantly in promising new growth economic sectors".

At the time, a Reuters article remained rather sceptical of the reforms, noting that

Reform drives have come and gone in Saudi Arabia several times in the past few decades with only modest results. The kingdom remains dangerously dependent on oil exports and low global prices created a state budget deficit of nearly $100 billion in 2015, emphasizing the need for change.

and that

Given the modest impact of the past reform drives, financial markets have moved little before the Vision 2030 announcement.

What steps have been taken so far by the country to diversify its economy in order to become less reliant on oil?


2 Answers 2


Saudi Arabia has invested significant financial resources in order to diversify its economy from the revenue of oil production. One of the means of diversification of Saudi Arabia is the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia, which invested heavily in Infrastructure Projects in the US and around the world, Entertainment Projects (Al-Qiddiya), luxury resorts (Red Sea Project), they even were in negotiations to buy Tesla from Elon Musk.

Saudi Arabia also started to heavily invest in digital enterprises and startups, for more you can read https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/302339.

Another diversification investments are meant to improving tourism in Saudi Arabia.

  • +1 because this is correct. However, what Saudi is lacking here is a credible project to diversify and strengthen employment and business opportunities for Saudi citizens in general. When Norway puts money in its oil fund, that counts as an investment strategy, not as "economic reform/diversification". Tourism is probably the closest that comes to a "plan", except that a) one wonders how many would visit Saudi, outside of pilgrims and b) one also wonders how many Saudi staff, rather than low-pay immigrants, would seek employment in hospitality companies. Apr 12, 2020 at 21:03

In 2016, Prince Mohammed bin Salman launched Vision 2030, a project to diversify Saudi Arabia's economy. It aims to support SMEs (small and medium enterprises) to focus on industries such as tourism, manufacturing, and renewable energy. By 2030, Saudi Arabia hopes to make these industries and smaller business contribute to 35% of the nation's GDP, slowly weaning the nation off of its dependency on oil. Part of the plan has included selling shares of Saudi Aramco, the state oil monopoly, to raise money to invest in the Vision 2030 project.

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