Kingdom’s economy: Saudi Aramco and Al-Baik!

Kingdom’s economy: Saudi Aramco and Al-Baik!


Hussein ShobokshiHussein Shobokshi

SAUDIS are still talking about the recent television interview of the three high-ranking officials and the economic situation in the country. The interview was supposed to have provided a dose of reassurance to the people on the financial and economic situation of the country but on the contrary it proved to be a direct cause of concern and tension because of their terrifying comments and degrading words about “Saudi Arabia’s bankruptcy” and “Saudi state employees’ productivity.”

Subsequent events do not serve, as they are not in line with our expectations. If expectations differ, they may lead to another course of events. The meaning of this argument applies to the Saudi reality. It has to be that the hopes and aspirations of the Saudis will have a decent achievement with the ambitious and bold Vision 2030; this in itself will help to change the course of events to see the result of it in 2030.

Silly predictions will lead to silly outcome. The talk about Saudi Arabia’s bankruptcy in these circumstances is outrageous and disgusting especially when such thoughts circulate in the minds of those who are supposed to be wise and qualified officials.

States never go out of business like companies, especially when they carry out strong and convincing programs and are able to attract private companies and influence the international financial institutions to assist and support. If this strategy is not applied, be prepared for other bitter options of getting drowned into debt and a whirlpool of inflation and a series of aftershocks that are associated with it and consequently face its due consequences.

The bold question that remains to be asked: Is there today any economic reform program that is complete and convincing? Do we have the tools and qualified persons to accomplish this? Can a football team wearing jackets of team “Barcelona” expect it to become magically “Barcelona”. Will Saudi Arabia go bankrupt? There is no answer to these questions nor there is a basis behind it. It’s just sophistry and purely fiction.

In recent days, Saudis are focused on the upcoming IPO of the iconic company Saudi Aramco, the global energy giant and a crown jewel in the Saudi economy. Efforts are on to launch the largest IPO of this great company.

But what about the state of small and medium-sized companies? What has been done in order to list the small and medium-sized companies in the Saudi share market?

I would like to compare between Saudi Aramco and the famous fast-food Saudi company (Al-Baik) that has a special status in the hearts of Saudis, a company that has turned into a success story and a source of pride for the Saudis. If the company offers an IPO subscription, it will certainly get a tremendous response from investors because companies in this sector are ignored in favor of giant companies despite their proven success and excellence.

Saudi Arabia’s economy is fine and stable but it needs reassurance from reliable, efficient and competent officials to address this issue and communicate the message to the public in a professional manner.


  1. There is something about Saudi companies which differentiates them from other successful companies of the world and that is: concern about their customers. Al Baik is a very famous fast food company and its success story is itself a proof of its competency but I happened to have one small experience which put me off quite a bit. I asked for a big sandwich and since there were two of us, I asked the person to cut it in to half. He was not sure and went inside to ask his mudir who flatly refused to do so. I found it so stupid for the employee and his manager not to cut this sandwich in to half, which I could have done so if I had a knife. He was not concerned or bothered about how I felt and stuck to his stand of not obliging me at all, inspite of there being no rush at his center (It happened to be at a gas station). I feel that however much you may offer to your customers and they may throng your place but if you don’t bother about their needs or feelings then someone will surely take you over, soon.

  2. Yes, Mr. Columnist, during the Stress period the responsible officers must behave sensibly. They must not horrify the situation which can aggravate the situation worse only ! I think the people of the Kingdom is already is trying to adjust with the austerity measures.

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