Saudi Prince Appears in a Hurry to Shake Up Desert Kingdom

Analysts say the plan, which calls for the biggest shake-up the kingdom has ever attempted, has the potential to modernize one of the world’s most socially conservative societies while liberating the country from its long-standing reliance on oil. It also runs the risk of destabilizing the desert kingdom with unforeseeable consequences. One of biggest challenges facing Vision 2030, as the project is known, is its prohibitive cost. “It’s expensive,” said Karen Young, a senior resident scholar at the Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington. “It requires spending money rather than saving. In order for the plan to work, the government has to outlay a lot of funds and find public-private partnerships.”

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