Saudi Arabia's Economic Shift: Beyond Oil to Sustainable Growth | Kanebridge News
Share Button

Saudi Arabia’s Economic Shift: Beyond Oil to Sustainable Growth

Saudi Arabia has historically depended on oil for its economic growth and development. But in recent years, the Kingdom has shifted towards diversifying its economy to reduce reliance on oil and better manage economic risks.

Tue, May 7, 2024 2:00pmGrey Clock 2 min

By 2023, Saudi Arabia achieved a landmark by having non-oil sectors contribute to 50% of its gross domestic product. This milestone underscores the success of its economic diversification efforts.

Non-oil GDP encompasses outputs from industries like agriculture, tourism, manufacturing, technology, and telecommunications. This diversification is vital as oil prices can be unpredictable, potentially destabilizing the economy. By expanding non-oil sectors, Saudi Arabia aims to insulate its economy from global oil price swings, benefiting from the relative price stability of non-oil commodities.

The country’s move towards a non-oil economy is supported by policies that aid micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and the National Investment Strategy. Schemes such as the Kafala Program facilitate government backing for SMEs, enhancing the non-oil economy. The National Investment Strategy promotes innovation, private sector growth, and targets key industries, reflecting Saudi Arabia’s dedication to economic diversification.

The diversification strategy offers several benefits, including a buffer against oil price volatility, more local job opportunities, and bolstered economic growth and sustainability. Reducing oil dependency decreases vulnerability to global oil market disruptions, such as renewable energy advances or global crises like pandemics.

Moreover, diversification increases local employment as new industries create demand for labor, contributing to economic stability and private sector enhancement. However, attracting foreign investment remains a challenge in achieving the scale of investment necessary for comprehensive economic diversification.

Diversification also supports sustainable economic growth by broadening export varieties and promoting income growth per capita. For instance, in 2022, Saudi Arabia’s focus on non-oil sectors led to a record $84.4 billion in non-oil exports, with the manufacturing and services sectors expanding by 15%.

Efforts to attract foreign investors include initiatives like the Saudi privatization program, which aims to increase private sector participation in the economy and improve efficiency. For example, Saudi Arabia has identified 140 projects, including four major airports, open for private investment under its privatization and economic diversification strategies.

Looking ahead, Saudi Arabia is likely to continue enhancing government spending to support non-oil GDP growth and implement social and cultural reforms under Vision 2030. The Saudi Public Investment Fund plans to launch IPOs, bond sales, and equity offerings to fund these diversification efforts.

Additionally, Saudi Arabia is reforming its social and cultural landscape to create a more investor-friendly environment. Significant reforms include reopening cinemas, lifting the ban on women driving, eliminating male guardianship, and allowing gender mixing, which are crucial for fostering a welcoming setting for foreign investors.

In conclusion, Saudi Arabia’s strategic shift from an oil-centric to a diversified economy not only minimizes its vulnerability to global oil fluctuations but also promotes economic growth, sustainability, and job creation. This model of economic diversification may serve as a valuable example for other nations seeking to reduce their reliance on oil.


Chris Dixon, a partner who led the charge, says he has a ‘very long-term horizon’

Americans now think they need at least $1.25 million for retirement, a 20% increase from a year ago, according to a survey by Northwestern Mutual

Related Stories
Saudi Arabia’s 2024 Summer TOURISM Plans Unveils New Incentives and Global Attractions
AACCI’s Strategic Vision for Enhancing Australia-Arab Trade Relations
Saudi Arabia’s Aviation Sector Fuels Economic Growth and Job Creation
Saudi Arabia’s 2024 Summer TOURISM Plans Unveils New Incentives and Global Attractions

“Saudi Summer is Next Door” plans to boost tourism in the Kingdom over four months across seven destinations.

Wed, May 22, 2024 4 min

Saudi Arabia has unveiled its plan to attract international tourists this summer. The strategy includes appealing visa options, complimentary airline tickets for families, a lineup of major events, and opportunities for tax-free shopping.

The initiative, organized under the guidance of Ahmed Al Khateeb, Minister of Tourism and Chairman of the Saudi Tourism Authority (STA), is named “Saudi Summer is Next Door.”


Extensive Summer 2024 Tourism Activities

The initiative will span four months, ending in September, and will be hosted across seven key destinations: Aseer, Al Baha, Taif, the Red Sea, Jeddah, Riyadh, and AlUla.

It features over 550 tourism products and more than 150 specially tailored offers and packages for families and various interest groups including adventure enthusiasts, luxury seekers, and cultural and heritage buffs.

The launch event of the Saudi Summer Program 2024 was attended by notable figures such as Zurab Pololikashvili, Secretary-General of the World Tourism Organization, in addition to more than 250 key partners from both public and private sectors, prominent media personalities, and influential opinion leaders.

Showcasing Global Events and Cultural Richness

This year’s program will also welcome back the Jeddah Season and introduce the Aseer Season, each filled with various activities and events for families. The Kingdom will host several significant events as part of the summer program, including the first Esports World Cup in Riyadh, an eight-week competition featuring top esports athletes, and various boxing tournaments in Riyadh and Jeddah.

During the event, Al Khateeb highlighted the latest global tourism trends, the Kingdom’s growth in the tourism sector, and the record-high tourist numbers that have propelled Saudi Arabia to the top of the UN World Tourism list and the G20 nations list.

Al Baha

Al Khateeb emphasized, “Saudi Arabia is witnessing a transformative period in tourism, driven by our vision to position the Kingdom as a premier global destination. The Saudi Summer Program 2024 is our commitment to showcasing the rich cultural heritage, natural beauty, and unparalleled hospitality that Saudi Arabia offers. “We invite local and international tourists to experience the diversity of our seven unique destinations and take advantage of the exceptional offers and packages designed to create unforgettable memories. “This initiative, supported by our strategic partnerships and groundbreaking efforts like the eVisa and increased flight connectivity, demonstrates our dedication to making Saudi Arabia more accessible and appealing to tourists worldwide. “We look forward to welcoming visitors from all corners of the globe to explore and enjoy the vibrant experiences that await them this summer.”

Zurab Pololikashvili, Secretary-General of the World Tourism Organization, also remarked, “Saudi tourism is witnessing unparalleled development at all levels, achieving great leaps in recent years, which I witnessed during my multiple visits to this hospitable country.”


“Saudi Arabia has global indicators related to the number of tourists, which has qualified it to top the UN World Tourism list of significant tourist destinations.”

“All of these great achievements for Saudi tourism would not have been possible without proper planning by those in charge of the sector in the Kingdom and the great potential it possesses in terms of diverse climates, stunning natural landmarks, and the generosity of Saudi people who are distinguished by their hospitality, raising the ceiling of ambitions for new achievements.”

STA CEO Fahd Hamidaddin said: “While temperatures in the region rise to high levels during summer, temperatures in the highlands of Saudi Arabia in the southern region decrease to the extent that we even witnessed snowfall in Al Soudah yesterday.” “Through the promotional campaign for the Saudi Summer Program 2024, we seek to highlight the uniqueness of our destinations and their climatic, natural, and cultural diversity, along with the exceptional events and activities happening during summer. “This year’s summer program includes more than 550 tourism products and 150 special offers designed in collaboration with STA’s partners, which include attractive offers from hotels, airlines offering free tickets for children in partnership with major travel, tourism, and aviation companies, and exceptional products in the Aseer Season and Jeddah Season like tax-free shopping offers and many new and exciting experiences such as private beaches for tourists and ladies’ beaches.”

“The campaign slogan “Saudi Summer is Next Door” embodies an open invitation to explore the magic of Saudi destinations and their diversity. This diversity is expressed with simple words that reflect the uniqueness of each destination, such as “Closer,” “Cooler,” “More Beautiful,” and “More Affordable.”

The private sector is a very important component of the success of tourism programs and initiatives, and the Saudi Tourism Authority is committed to empowering it by fostering demand for products and offers that align with the aspirations of tourists globally.

The launch of the Saudi Summer Program 2024 marks a period when visiting the Kingdom has become easier, smoother, and safer through measures such as the availability of the eVisa to citizens of 66 countries, a 20 percent reduction in eVisa prices, and a significant increase in the number of weekly flights from

Gulf cities to Saudi summer destinations, now totaling 1,100.

Residents of the GCC can also benefit from the GCC residents visa, which allows them multiple entries and a stay of up to 90 days in the Kingdom over a year. Moreover, the number of hotel rooms available to travelers is set to increase, with an additional 25,000 rooms expected to be added this year.


Chris Dixon, a partner who led the charge, says he has a ‘very long-term horizon’

Americans now think they need at least $1.25 million for retirement, a 20% increase from a year ago, according to a survey by Northwestern Mutual

    Your Cart
    Your cart is emptyReturn to Shop