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Saudi Arabia has established itself as not only a prominent nation of the Middle East but also as a rising power in global politics altogether
With a little money, everything is possible! Under the reign of Mohammad Bin Salman, the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia,
the country is taking measures to allow its citizens and residents to live a more free, peaceful life
—something that has been a problem for the region in the past decade or so.
Saudi Arabia is traditionally known as the site of two Muslim havens, Mecca and Medina,
so it is hardly a surprise that the richest, most powerful Muslims across the world spend their dime on lengthy, expensive pilgrimages
that enrich their souls while also enriching Saudi’s pockets.
But Saudi Arabia’s wealth structure rises above its role as Islam’s holiest destination
—so today we are going to dive into the details of the sovereign state’s economy and culture,
but before that, a little background on what has made Saudi Arabia the country it is today.
HIDDEN FACTS ABOUT SAUDIA ARABIA
So we have already covered how Saudi Arabia is home to Mecca and Medina,
the two locations that every devoted Muslim would want to check off their list as they seek to achieve their spiritual balance under the faith of Islam.
But there is so much more Saudi Arabia has to offer the world.
Saudi Arabia, covering about 2,149,690 sq km, is a fairly large and stable territory, particularly in comparison to some of its neighbors.
With its capital at Riyadh, the country has a population of about 34 million, of which only 64% consists of Saudi nationals.
The rest include temporary residents, workers, millionaires, hotshots, and magnates that have seized the land for themselves and their luxurious pleasures.
So a little bit about the history: the modern proportions of Saudi Arabia can fairly be divided into four distinct regions,
which are Hejaz, Najd, Eastern Arabia, and Southern Arabia.
These four areas existed and thrived for centuries on their own, but they were united as part of one nation in 1932 by Ibn Saud.
As you may have guessed, Ibn Saud is considered to be one of the most notable men in the history of Saudi Arabia,
whose name quite obviously inspired the etymology
Since then, Saudi Arabia’s government affairs have been controlled by a total monarchy that is based around a hereditary network.
It is clearly a very wealthy nation, and you might have some idea how that came about, but let’s take a look at the specifics.
There is a defining keyword here: oil.
And that probably explains it all.
In this day and age of dwindling natural resources, finding oil in one’s own backyard can sustain a family for generations to come,
as has been the case for Saudi Arabia for nearly ninety years.
Petroleum was first discovered in 1938, and since then the economy of Saudi Arabia rocketed towards the mining, refining, and export of oil in all its forms.
In the nineties, Saudi company Saudi Aramco achieved the status of being the largest fully-integrated oil company in the world,
as it began its steady climb through the global economy in place of other major contributing countries.
Today, Saudi oil reserves are the second largest in the world,
while its petroleum sector accounts for 87% of the budget revenues as well as 90% of all export statistics.
So it is safe to say that Saudi Arabia’s oil-driven affairs are very much central to their evolution as a nation
in terms of how their citizens acquired that much money per capita within a rather short period, all things considered.
But it isn’t simply the magic of oil and gas that has been turning the wheels in their bank accounts;
the years, the country has experienced a large inflow of foreign investments as companies from the States, Europe, and China
as they rush to build their fortifications amidst the race for oil and natural resources.
Now as the administration of Mohammed Bin Salman’s government looks to lessen their dependency on oil,
there are plans to coordinate investments worth $47 billion in three major petrochemical projects.
They also plan to build six economic cities that will further provide appealing jobs to foreign workers and investors as part of their Vision 2030 agenda.
THE RICH IN SAUDIA ARABIA
The kingdom of Saudi Arabia is basking in its shine of money and luxury, as the richest, most powerful individuals
make a point to travel and indulge in its lush amenities every year.
Saudi Arabia prides itself on being a haven for the wealthy, and they have developed its real estate and infrastructure
to attract visitors who will further stimulate their economy and bring their friends while they are at it.
So what are some of those mind-numbingly rich and opulent properties that are a beacon to the rich?
For starters, the country has enough oil reserves to fill up FIVE Olympic-sized swimming pools.
Outside of that, the country boasts some of the most exquisite hotels and structural developments in their region of the world.
They include the Four Seasons in Riyadh, a space of extravagance and comfort, with the hotel overlooking the entire city.
It’s equipped with some of the finer amenities that money can buy.
Other hotels where the rich love to stay include the Fairmont, the Narcissus, and The Ritz-Carlton, all of which cost upwards of $1500 for the night.
But no accommodations can compare to the life of luxury led by Saudi Arabia’s most prominent citizens.
ROYAL FAMALIES IN SAUDIA ARABIA
Before we talk more specifically about the wealth that Saudi Arabia has been blessed with,
we must talk about the opulent lifestyles of the House of Saud, that is, the Royal Family of Saudi Arabia,
and how they are not afraid to boast about their strong financial foundation among the generally poor populace.
So what exactly is it that makes them so privileged and spoiled?
For starters, before his father’s death, Mohammed Bin Salman purchased some very impressive assets, like a $500 million yacht,
a $300 million French Chateau, and, most astoundingly, a $450 million Leonardo Da Vinci painting.
The yacht is known to be equipped with swimming pools, hot tubs, and a convenient helipad in case the Sheikh has to make a quick getaway.
It is not simply a matter of having the cash to back up those transactions; those expenses require a great deal of power and influence,
and this demonstrates why the Saudi Royal Family has seemingly become more and more formidable over the years.
You can find out much more about this by clicking in the upper right-hand corner to watch our video of 15 things you didn’t know about the House of Saud.
The net worth of the royal family has not been officially listed anywhere, but according to insider sources, their worth could be as high as $1.4 trillion,
which far surpasses the economies of developing countries.
For comparison, the British royal family is only worth a mere $88 billion.
So, where did this wealth come from?
Well the lines between state assets and personal wealth have certainly been blurred as the House of Saud
clearly benefits far more from the wealth the nation accumulates than the average citizen— in fact, it's billions of times more.
As much as we admire the riches of the royals, we must also remember those who are suffering in the country as the royals seclude themselves in their marble-cut palaces.
In addition to human rights struggles, the country is known to have an issue with unemployment, as the rate has increased to 12.9% in recent years.
The majority of the country cannot afford to own their own homes, and most of the people have settled in cities,
which means the rural areas have been abandoned.
People still live in fear and desolation so despite the oil-oriented flourishing,
Mohammed Bin Salman still has a long way to go in terms of truly alleviating the burden of his nation.
Now let’s look at the bigger question of the country’s wealth.
HOW RICH IS SAUDIA ARABIA
Ultimately the wealth of Saudi Arabia has to be measured beyond the size of its buildings and the luxurious index of its properties;
it can only be deduced based on the Gross Domestic Product, also known as the GDP, as well as the gross income per capita,
which provides us with information as to how much money the people are making there in comparison to the size of the territory they are in.
The GDP of Saudi Arabia is measured at about $782.483 billion, whereas the income per capita is valued at about $25,219 per individual.
You can compare this to the per capita GDP of the United States, which was about $63,000 in 2018.
While it is high up on the list of Middle Eastern countries that are thriving economically, it still comes in fourth behind Qatar, Kuwait, and the United Arab Emirates-based
based on the per capita GDP.
When looking at individuals, it’s a bit hard to know how many billionaires live in the country.
In 2017, Forbes listen to 10 Saudis on its annual list of billionaires, but in 2018 there were no Saudis on the list
as Forbes made the decision not to include them due to a widespread corruption probe that affected all of these wealthy men.
Certainly, the king and his immediate family are the richest citizens by far,
but Saudi Arabia is also the home to over 176,000 millionaires, which is the most of any Middle Eastern country.
The combined riches of these millionaires exceed $2.42 trillion.
With its main industries being in crude oil production, petroleum, refining, petrochemical, and industrial gases,
is it any surprise that the Saudi business wonders have made a decent living out of capitalizing off the scarcity of fuels that the rest of the world is still clamoring for?
They have also done quite a lot to build their economy outside of the oil and gas industry,
including growing their private sector, which holds about 40% of the GDP as well.
Since 2017, to bring more wealth into the country, Mohammed Bin Salman has proposed ideas such as raising the prices of oil and gas,
introducing new taxes and favoring Saudi workers over the foreign workers coming in to make a buck.
The kingdom is also working to diversify its economy so that they are not left high and dry when its oil reserves are depleted.
With the right planning and implementation, Saudi Arabia can remain a dominant economic force for years to come.
All in all, what is significant to note is that Saudi Arabia is not just a wealthy nation
but also a powerful nation due to some notable partnerships with many countries in the world,
including the United States, China, England, and Russia.
With the modernizing efforts that Bin Salman is undertaking as well as reforms in economics and industry,
Saudi Arabia is building an infrastructure that can support increased wealth for decades to come.
Although the human rights situation is murky at best, its citizens are putting their trust in Mohammed Bin Salman’s hands
to build a bright future that will elevate the wealth of all the citizens, not just the royals.
Now that we’re wrapping up this topic, we’d like to know:
or is it their privilege to gain from it the most?
let us know in the comment