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Saudi’s Bin Salman’s Reforms: 5 Geopolitical Effects You Need to Know

1. Neom to be the beacon of Bin Salman’s reform

Two years have passed since the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed Bin Salman, announced his Neom city project worth $500 billion, and it now seems to be finally coming to life as construction begins. The Neom city is set to represent a beacon of Bin Salman’s secular reforms, as it will try to act as a modern Western megacity, a source of income not from oil, the ultimate advertisement to please the international scene. But its also here where the risks to the 33-year-old prince’s grand plan for his country are writ large. Neom is the boldest pillar of a social and economic transformation that so far has seen at least as many delays as successes. Indeed, the question since the prince announced the vast development at an extravaganza in 2017 has been whether it can become a reality. It now seems that it will become a reality, but complications during construction that could halt the project should not be excluded.

2. Reforms could ironically hurt business

Despite many of Bin Salman’s reforms, including the upcoming Neom city being economic sources of development, in an attempt to increase business while diversifying from oil, these actions in addition to the crown prince’s regional aggression and violation of human rights, have led to a planned boycott of Mecca and Hajj trips, led by religious scholars. Saudi Arabia is known to make a large quantity of money from the Hajj period, and an interruption of this would take a noticeable blow at Saudi’s economy, hurting their business ambitions in the process, as investors would see this as a sign of instability.

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3. Bin Salman has put himself in danger

4. Persistence on reforms

5. Are the secular reforms a distraction?

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