KSA joins MSCI
In 2018, the Saudi stock exchange joined the MSCI Emerging Market Index. It is estimated that the kingdom’s inclusion in the FTSE Russell and MSCI indexes could lead to passive and active inflows of between US$30 billion and US$45 billion.
Inscribe Al-Ahsa Oasis on the UNESCO World Heritage List
“Meras” Links 18 government and private sector entities to one-stop shops to provide their services online, in addition to opening local branches in Riyadh, Dammam and soon in Jeddah
130% increase in QFI licenses
The number of foreign investment licenses granted in Saudi Arabia in the first quarter of 2018 increased by 130%.
Increase Fiber-Optic Network Capacity
Cover 700,000 houses across the Kingdom during 2018, an increase by more than 300% in comparison to 2017.
Fintech Saudi launched
In 2018, SAMA launched Fintech Saudi, an initiative to develop the Kingdom as a hub for financial technology and contributing to the support of financial inclusion and the rise of digital transactions. SAMA has since approved its first two financial technology licenses.
Automate Recruitment and Contracting
Enable government entities to control and manage the recruitment of competent candidates through an online system
King Salman Energy Park (SPARK)
A world-class industrial park developed and operated by Saudi Aramco is targeting the localization of the energy manufacturing and services supply chain and is expected to create by 2035 US$6bn GDP annually and 100,000 direct and indirect jobs of which a large portion for Saudis. Construction of Phase 1 infrastructure has already started with a target completion 2021.
Introduce New Programs (University Technical Programs)
Introduce technical programs in some Saudi universities such as Artificial Intelligence and Cybersecurity
New tariffs to drive renewable projects
As of January 1, 2018, the Electricity and Cogeneration Regulatory Authority (ECRA) announced a threefold increase in the electricity tariff designed to solidify the business case for renewable energy projects.
First 3D house built
The Ministry of Housing has recently built the first house using 3D printing technology as part of new building technology initiative. The project aims to encourage the private sector to leverage technology in housing project.
Rehabilitation of Agricultural Terraces
Rehabilitation of more than 1600 hectares in the south of the Kingdom, which contributed to:
- Rationalizing water use
- Raising the efficiency of the use of renewable water resources
- Cultivating crops that are financially profitable for farmers
Solar project awarded
In 2018, the first solar power project to produce 300 MW of power in Al Jouf was awarded to ACWA Power. The project is part of the National Renewable Energy Programme which aims to produce 9.5 GW of renewable energy by 2023. It will generate enough electricity to power around 40,000 homes.
Saudi Aramco signs $5B deal
In 2018, Saudi Aramco and Total SA announced plans to build a US$5 billion petrochemical complex near their refinery in Jubail to tap growing demand in the Middle East and Asia. The project is expected to create 8,000 jobs.
Launch “Mawid” Service and “Siha” Application
“Mawid” is a service that Facilitates access to health care services in the Kingdom to standardize the reservation and management of medical appointments in government hospitals (8 million appointments) in 2018
“Siha” is an application which aims to provide remote medical consultations (260 thousand medical consultations) in 2018
Provide Digital Skills Training Packages
- Provide more than 600 thousand students and 11 thousand male and female teachers with programming training
- Provide more than 8,400 male and female graduates with digital skills training and qualify them for the labor market in 2018
Port & customes processes streamlined
As a result of increasing automation, import and export processes are being streamlined, with a 54% reduction in import dwell times at ports (from 14 to 6.4 days), a 60% reduction in clearance time (from 4.8 to 1.9 days) and a very significant reduction in the documents required for both imports and export (from 12 to 2 and from 8 to 2 respectively).
Repair of Streets and Removal of Construction Waste
- Rehabilitate more than 4 million m2 through the establishment and operation of central control rooms in 17 municipalities
- Clear more than 17 million m3 of demolition and excavation works
Increase Access to “Productive Families Program”
The number of productive families who are beneficiaries of the Social Development Bank amounted to 30 thousand. The volume of sales of the products of these families amounts to SAR 1.9 billion
The King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre, established in 2018, institutionalizes the Kingdom’s international humanitarian, development and philanthropic aid in line with standards set by the OECD, the United Nations and international transparency principles.
Extend Wireless Broadband Coverage to Include 128,000 Houses in Remote Areas
Jeddah airport opening
In 2018, the soft opening of the new King Abdul Aziz Airport in Jeddah was announced. By Q1 2019 the number of gates in use is expected to increase from 6 to 46, creating jobs in both the aviation and tourism sector, while improving support for passengers coming to Hajj and Umrah.
Integrated Logistic Bonded Zone inaugurated
In Oct 2018, the Integrated Logistic Bonded Zone (ILBZ) at King Khalid international airport was inaugurated. The zone will deploy new intelligent logistic solutions for attracting international companies to provide their services from this zone, such as light maintenance, assemble lines, light manufacturing, and quality assurance tests.
Launch Initiatives to Encourage Tourism Investment
- Provide guarantees for 91 new tourism facilities with a total estimated value of SAR 142 million
- Sign 5 contracts to provide credit support worth SAR 64 million for new tourism investments
Increase Fish Farming Production
Increase production to 85 thousand tons per year and provide access to new international markets. The Kingdom started to export the first shipments of shrimp to China.
Tamouh Elite launched
In February 2018, the General Authority for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), in partnership with ELITE of the London Stock Exchange Group launched "Tamouh Elite", a program to promote the growth of "promising" companies in Saudi Arabia.
National Renewable Energy Program award
The National Renewable Energy Program was named Best Public Procurement Project at the Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply awards in June 2018.
Increase Operational Efficiency
Achieved high efficiency in the production of desalinated water, which is the highest rate in the world, amounting to 5 million m3
5K Mineral deposits discovered
The Saudi Geological Survey (SGS) has identified 5,300 sites rich in minerals which, when fully utilized, are expected to create 90,000 jobs and generate US$67 billion annually.
Empowering consumers on solar power
The Electricity and Cogeneration Authority has empowered electricity consumers to operate their own, small-scale solar power (
Database to spur renewable investment
A public database of more than 100 local companies operating in the renewable energy sector (wesupplyrenewables.com.sa) was established, designed to encourage private sector investment in the renewable energy sector.
More Saudis exercising
The number of Saudi citizens aged over 15 who exercise at least once a week has risen from 13 percent to 23 percent in 2018, helping the General Sport Authority’s (GSA) beat its interim Vision 2030 target of getting 20 percent of Saudis over 15 exercising by 2020.
Enhance Traffic Safety
- Reduce the number of traffic fatalities by 3 thousand incidents which were avoided in 2018.
- Decrease the percentage of serious traffic offences by 40% in comparison to 2017
Electronic Reading of Water Meters
Improve the billing system by installing one million high-precision electronic meters and linking them to the automatic reading system
Raise the Efficiency of Small Enterprises
Launch a network of incubators, accelerators and workspaces to be an umbrella for businesses in the Kingdom, which provides:
- Several training programs for members of incubators and business accelerators
- Periodic evaluation of incubator performance levels
5000+ events in 2018
In 2018, the General Entertainment Authority (GEA) calendar featured more than 5,000 live events hosted across 56 cities, including musicals, family shows, stand-up comedy and live performances from some of the biggest names in global music.
Saudi government efficiency
In 2018, the World Economic Forum (WEF) ranked Saudi Arabia seventh worldwide in the efficiency of government spending index, a rise of five positions and a key measure of global competitiveness.
Unite Efforts to Promote a Culture of Volunteerism in the...
Exceeded 2018 target, with 78,000 thousand volunteers
Online Payment Service
Allow online payments for execution of judgments through the “Sadad platform”. The amounts paid through the platform exceeded SAR 880 million paid by 43 thousand clients
Car manufacturing city
Saudi Arabia is developing a car manufacturing city which aims to attract Saudi and foreign investments, increase exports, provide job opportunities, and contribute to economic diversification as part of Vision 2030 Vision.
Launch the website of “Istida” Center for recall of defective products to provide interactive services to consumers and merchants
Center for Industry 4.0 launched
Out of five planned, one center for Industry 4.0 has been already established at KACST and currently expanding its activities and capabilities to meet the targets and objectives of Industry 4.0 strategy within NIDLP
Digital Transformation in Justice Services
Launch online powers of attorney within the digital transformation of justice services aimed at facilitating the services provided to clients. This eliminates the need to attend notarization in person and seeks to fully digitize the service in the “judiciary, enforcement and documentation” sectors. 9 services were transformed from using paper powers of attorney to digital powers of attorney, which saved SAR 60 million annually
Upgrades to SIDF
The Saudi Industrial Development Fund (SIDF) has taken significant steps to enable industrialization in the Kingdom, including streamlining and enhancing the loan application and evaluation process, introducing and adopting various e-solutions for core business processes and support services, launching the SME Scale-up debt program, and increasing SIDF’s capital from SAR 65 to 105 Billion to increase its funding capacity.
Deficit falls 84% in Q2 2018
Saudi Arabia’s budget deficit fell by 84 percent to SR7.4 billion in the second quarter of 2018 and non-oil revenue increased by 42% compared to the same period the previous year. Savings in spending during the first quarter of 2018 totaled SR12 billion.
SIDF capital increased
The capital of the Saudi Industrial Development Fund (SIDF) has been increased by SR6bn (US$1.6bn) to help finance the kingdom’s industrial sector including entry into new industries.