The recent World Economic Forum (WEF) Special Meeting in Riyadh was symbolic of the ongoing transformation of Saudi Arabia’s economy as it seeks to diversify away from oil. “It’s a great day for us as Saudi Arabia… It’s also a testament to how much we are perceived as a coming giant,” Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman told the forum, “Instead of us going out around the world, the world has just come to us.”

Saudi Arabia is undergoing an unparalleled socio-economic shift as Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman’s Vision 2030 accelerates. As the government seeks to attract foreign investment into its ambitious initiatives, it created the Future Investment Initiative (FII) conference which it has held in Riyadh annually since October 2017 and which was swiftly dubbed ‘Davos in the Desert.’ Last month Davos, home to the WEF’s flagship event, truly came to the Desert. (CONTINUED - 832 WORDS)