The Saudi Vision 2030 – aimed at spearheading a diversification of the economy away from oil – was unveiled to much fanfare in April 2016. But the kingdom’s progress on boosting its non-oil revenues has so far provided less cause for celebration.

In unveiling the plan, Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman made the bold statement that he wanted to wean the country off its “addiction to oil” but overcoming this “addiction” is proving harder than many had originally hoped. Arguably the biggest setback to date for the economic diversification strategy was the news in September last year that Riyadh was redrafting the National Transformation Plan 2020 (NTP) – the blueprint that lays out the first set of reforms needed to achieve Vision 2030 – removing some areas flagged for change and extending the timeline of other targets. (CONTINUED - 2259 WORDS)