Saudi Arabia has undergone a remarkable transformation in recent years, fueled by Vision 2030. We are publishing the inaugural Saudi Economy Watch at this midpoint, between the vision’s launch in 2016 and its target date. This article adds to our ongoing Middle East Economy Watch series by providing a detailed analysis of the Kingdom’s economic trends.
Our assessment is that performance is strong in comparison to the majority of the 14 quantifiable economic targets outlined in the original vision document. The findings range from significant outperformance in some areas, such as female labor participation and home ownership, to significant underperformance in others. Foreign direct investment and religious tourism are two areas that require attention, but both are showing signs of improvement in the coming years.
These indicators, however, only scratch the surface of Vision 2030, which has expanded to include a wide range of Vision Realization Programs and giga projects.
This report examines current economic trends as well as the big picture of long-term development progress. While overall GDP growth is expected to be modest this year due to reductions in oil production, it is expected to be 14% higher than in 2019. In contrast, some Gulf states have only recently returned to pre-COVID-19 levels.
Adjustments to oil production, fluctuating oil prices, and increased spending this year have resulted in a different fiscal outlook than in 2022. However, the fiscal situation is not yet a cause for concern, as evidenced by a series of credit rating upgrades this year, and non-oil revenue is growing rapidly.