On 25 April 2016, Mohammad bin Salman, then Deputy Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, launched Vision 2030, an ambitious strategic plan designed to transform the nation’s economy, reduce its dependence on oil and develop a “vibrant society… characterised by strong roots and foundations that support moderate Islam, national pride, Saudi heritage and Islamic culture.”
Among the goals set out in Vision 2030 are becoming “a global investment powerhouse… to boost the economy and diversify our income”, as well as exploiting Saudi Arabia’s unique geographical location and finally transforming the country into “a global hub connecting three continents: Asia, Europe and Africa”.
Also revealed at the launch were plans to build a bridge across the Red Sea to promote trade, sell shares in Aramco, the world’s largest oil company, develop a domestic defence industry, encourage foreign investment, reduce unemployment and cut subsidies for water and electricity consumption from unsustainable energy.
25 April 2016: Then Deputy Crown Prince, Mohammad Bin Salman announces Mink 2030.
21 June 2017: Mohammad Bin Salman is appointed Crown Prince by King Salman.
October 24, 2017: During the FII (Future Investment Initiative) conference in Riyadh, the Crown Prince commits to a return to moderate Islam and launches Neom, the city of the future, a $500 billion project.
April 18, 2018: Ending a 35-year ban, the first cinema opens in Riyadh with a screening of Marvel’s Black Panther.
June 24, 2018: The ban on women driving is rescinded.
February 10, 2019: The Crown Prince launches a mega tourism project in Al-Ula, including a resort designed by architect Jean Nouvel, and a nature reserve.
February 25, 2020: Saudi Arabia creates three ministries: Sports, Tourism and Investment as part of its commitment to Vision 2030.