Both Saudi Arabia and Qatar have announced that they are rethinking recent transport fuel hikes. Governments throughout the GCC – Kuwait excepted – have cut subsidies on transport and other fuels to ease the pressure on their budgets resulting from the mid-2014 plunge in crude oil prices, and hence their export revenues.

Riyadh’s shift in perspective came amidst a major realignment of the kingdom’s long term strategy in its Saudi Vision 2030, announced by Deputy Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman last month. Prince Muhammad, overseer of the kingdom’s oil and overall economic policy, set out his vision for curing the Saudi “addiction to oil” by shifting the entire economy from oil-based to investment-based (MEES, 29 April). (CONTINUED - 616 WORDS)