Saudi Arabia: 2012 Year in Review

Saudi-Arabia year in review

The outlook continues to look bright and positive for Saudi Arabia.  First of all, Saudi Arabia reported a budget surplus of 386 billion SR (US$102.93 billion).  Concurrent to the positive budget surplus, King Abdullah announced a record budget of expenditures in 2013 in the amount of US$218.7 billion and forecasted revenues of US$221 billion.

With such a surplus and anticipated revenues there will be further investments and expansions in the Saudi construction industry, education, medical sector and introduction of mortgages.

Another major shift which began in 2012 and continues with even greater emphasis is for the Kingdom to hire more Saudis to fulfill positions held by expatriates.  According to the Ministry of Labor, as of November 2012 there were circa 448,000 Saudis seeking jobs yet 80 per cent of private sector jobs were held by expatriates.

The Oxford Business group provides an excellent overview of Saudi Arabia 2012 year in review.

Saudi Arabia has made some forward progress on rights for women.  Although some religious clerics continue to challenge the law which allows women to work as sales clerks, this is a significant positive achievement for women in the Kingdom.

Saudi Arabia continues to need mandatory changes on its allowance of controversial marriages and divorce laws.

However, in conclusion, Saudi Arabia, has a bright outlook on stability and security and economic growth under its continued leadership by King Abdullah.


9 Responses

  1. I am not so certain that Saudi has such a bright outlook. Currently Saudi is strapped by diminishing water and is going to other countries to extract water and using desalination plants. It is using far more oil for it’s domestic needs and that trend is only going to continue as the population continues to grow. The government has limited GDP and is highly dependent on foreign workers who if there countries begin paying higher salaries are set to lose. In addiition, more and more countries are becoming more involved with their citizens rights in Saudi which will continue to create problems for Saudi inside and abroad. They have a growing youth population with limited job opportunities and the list continues. Saudi future might not be so bright. In addition, the USA is expected to start outpacing Saudi in oil production between 2017 and 2020. Which then shifts the whole dynamic of the Saudi/USA relations. All this then leaves you wondering just how bright is their future?

  2. I have to disagree Bigstick. Firstly the water ‘problem’. Singapore relies heavily on water supply from Malaysia due to its amount of densely settled land. Yet,Singapore is still one mighty nation. Next I strongly believe with this huge budget, based on reports and analysis, Saudi will be able to further diversify it of its oil source. As we speak, the Kingdom has spent more than 22 billion riyals to send its student abroad for training and building new technical schools. My only hope is these Saudi students don’t waste time and their governments money by falling in ‘love’ while abroad and throwing away everything their government has invested in them. They are the future of Saudi and have the.responsibility to bring back progress and good changes to

  3. The large population of young people that continue to be unemployed is disturbing. Combined with the lack of desire to work makes their future rather dim IMHO. Those who actually have jobs cannot be forced to show up, let alone do any work. Yet companies are obligated to hire them anyways. What would happen to the Saudi economy if all the expats left tomorrow?

  4. This article remind me of Arthur Andersen and Enron!

  5. Big budgets do not translate into concrete results. Why? Rampant corruption, lack of accountability, transparency, checks and balances, and a lot of drumming and dancing media editors. There are projects that were started during the first oil boom and still to be completed as of this writing.

  6. Ali, I actually agree with you but let’s hope the King does something about it this time. The Kingdom has a massive chance to further develope itself in all fields if ONLY the corruptions decrease and the mindset changes. KSA is still a very new country so if compared to the US for example, there is great potential.

  7. So many riches and yet too many foreign workers in Saudi are paid dreadfully low. I suppose that’s the way you actually get so rich.

  8. Murgatr, why should they want to work if they grew up believing that the family would always be there for them? Unless we are talking about an unusually pleasant job with very little stress, many benefits and few responsibilities? I have seen many Arab people “work” and my most consistent observation is they seem to lack any sense of urgency in their system. They act as if they’ll always have all the time of the world, so why get into a hurry? You can’t rush them into anything – God forbid that you tried, for they will either give you an incredulous stare or get indignant as if you broke all the rules of correct or polite behaviour. Their “philosophical” attitude to time was unnerving for anyone who wanted to be efficient. The only Arabs who did a fairly good job were the women from Morocco, Tunisia and Egypt. The others were beyond redemption. If it weren’t for the non-Arab foreigners, things would never get moving in the real sense of the word.

  9. …. in conclusion, Saudi Arabia, has a bright outlook on stability and security and economic growth under its continued leadership by King Abdullah.

    However, there are varying opinions. In an excerpt from a new Brookings Institution briefing book for President Barrack Hussein Obama’s second term, Bruce Riedel lays out a scenario where the overthrow of the Saudi royals is finally a possibility and on what a catastrophe it would be for our president and our nation.

    He goes on to point out that Saudi Arabia is the world’s last absolute monarchy. Like Louis XIV, King Abdullah has complete authority to do as he likes. But while a revolution in Saudi Arabia is still not likely, the Arab Awakening has made one possible for the first time, and it could come in President Obama’s second term.

    BTW, Bruce Riedel has served as an adviser in the White House to the last four presidents. His next book, Avoiding Armageddon: America, India and Pakistan to the Brink and Back, will be published later this month.

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