Arab globalization through ‘Saudilization’


IN September 2017, after decades of multitude of efforts to develop the generation and put the best foot forward as Saudis in globalization, two pools of the population — the young and the women have succeeded. The government of Saudi Arabia equally supported by coming up with sustainable development program — The Saudi Vision 2030. The Saudization strategy was the first step to start this long-planned journey wherein we have now reached to a state, which we can proudly say “Saudilization”.

In terms of competing with globalization, the government of Saudi Arabia under the rule of late King Abdullah and his successor King Salman have forwarded and developed the nation with five-fold strategy which has become so much successful in the last two decades that third world countries and countries in the Middle Eastern Arab world should consider following in the footsteps of “Saudilization” as a way of development.

The younger generation is supported by the international scholarship to study abroad and locally as well as new universities, technology, business and research parks are being set up around the country. The women population has been given leadership opportunities enabling their identity creation and empowerment wherein women entrepreneurship and leadership are utilized now.

The examples are now there are 30 women members in our parliament (Shoura Council). The other notable and major change is Saudi women are now allowed to drive which is just a start for more changes.

The country overall has grown on a massive scale, which is evident from the market capitalization of companies listed on the local stock exchange Tadawul and has increased from SR274.53bn in 2001 to SR1681.95bn in 2016. Total 27.27 million transactions were executed during 2016. The government initiatives and policies for reporting and control have prompted all government and private establishment top executives to rewrite the rule books of their rights and discretion.

The culture has transformed all over the country the last years, and mainly the thinking ways have drastically improved by increasing the freedom and supporting journalism. As highlighted by King Salman’s speech in the parliament “we have modernized ourselves and moved from traditional ways and oil-dependent economy to competitive ways”.

Why I need to mention this point of “Saudilization” at this juncture when the country is already progressing and a lot of business-politico upheavals is going on in Saudi Arabia. This is because as a Saudi woman we are getting a voice and on way to become more empowered, which will increase our contribution from traditionally being out of the frame to all spheres of life.

— Ms. Areej Al-Jahani is a doctoral candidate at the University of Reading, UK and she is a lecturer in the education leadership at King Saud University, Okaz writer, Saudi Arabia.