The Independent has promised that all editorial practices will reflect global standards and hopes to foster debate among new audiences. But critics are weary, fearing that the new platforms will be used to propagate Saudi positions across the region. Such concerns are valid, considering that Reporters Without Borders ranks Saudi Arabia 169 out of 180 countries on the World Press Freedom Index.
Results for Tag: Vision2030
Qatar has been investing heavily in the field of sports for more than ten years now because it is a way to raise its profile and global visibility, build a sustainable market, exercise soft power, create a national social cohesion and tackle diabetes through exercise. However, Saudi Arabia has been lobbying intensively all over the world to discourage the attention on Qatar for the World Cup through a campaign of misinformation. It has also notably focused global attention on the way migrants are treated during the construction of the 2022 facilities, despite Saudi Arabia being at the same level regarding migrant workers’ rights.
Today there are around 117 UK Hajj organisers licensed by Saudi Arabia. Each is responsible for their own annual quota of 150-450 Hajj pilgrim visas. British Muslims now have plenty of choice in terms of package options. But UK pilgrims wanting to perform Hajj in 2018 probably spent as much as £5-6,000 on their package.
The government aims to welcome 30 million visitors by 2030, compared to 18 million in 2016. According to the Tourism Information and Research Center website, tourist numbers have been rising over the past year. More than 28 per cent of tourists are now Saudi and the sector supports over 999,000 jobs. It is hoped that Increasing the number of festivals will bring the kingdom closer to the goals set out in Vision 2030. However, there are concerns that the kingdom may be spreading itself too thinly.
This massive plan is in line with the kingdom’s aspiration of becoming the leading exporter of solar energy in the Middle East. “Vision 2030 is expected to play a key role in realizing this objective,” Zafar said. “Under the King Salman Renewable Energy Initiative, the Saudi government is reviewing the legal and regulatory framework for private sector investment in order to encourage public-private partnerships and promote local manufacturing of solar panels.”
Women’s rights activists are ironically being punished for pushing the same agenda that led Saudi Arabia to lift the driving ban in the first place – and been praised internationally for it. However, the arrests are looking increasingly like a way to silence the activists in order to avoid having to give more rights to women.
Samah Hadid, the deputy director of Amnesty International, said that most human rights activists in the country were either in prison or on trial, their whereabouts still undisclosed. The others, she added, risk arrest at any time. MBS is clearly remaking Saudi Arabia in his image, while proving to be just as authoritarian as the rulers before him.