Saudi Arabia witnessed unprecedented progress in the educational, health and industrial sectors during the Hijrah year 1433 (2012) which ended on 14 November, under the leadership of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah and Crown Prince Salman.
King Abdullah successfully strengthened Saudi Arabia’s political, economic and trade position at regional and international levels and the country now plays a significant role at international forums.
The year witnessed the visit of many foreign dignitaries including French President, Francois Hollande; British Prime Minister, David Cameron; Malaysian Prime Minister, Mohammad Najib; and Egyptian President, Muhammad Mursi.
Saudi Arabia ranked 12th in a World Bank business report, saying it was the most business-friendly country out of 183 economies worldwide and topped the Middle East region.
The Kingdom allocated SR 265 billion ($70.6 billion) for new projects, reflected the Kingdom’s economic stability
The Kingdom announced its largest budget in history with projected spending at SR 690 billion ($184 billion), SR 110 billion ($29.3 billion) more than the previous year. The budget, which allocated SR 265 billion ($70.6 billion) for new projects, reflected the Kingdom’s economic stability.
The year witnessed the implementation of a large number of projects in health, education, industry, electricity and hydro, as well as the expansion of the two holy mosques in Makkah and Madinah.
King Abdullah opened a number of new university campus projects and laid the foundation for future university projects worth $21.7 billion
King Abdullah opened a number of new university campus projects and laid the foundation for future university projects worth SR 81.5 billion. The Cabinet approved the public transport project for Riyadh and set up a committee under the leadership of Gov. Prince Sattam to supervise its implementation.
The king issued a royal decree urging private companies to employ more Saudis and help solve the country’s unemployment problem. The Nitaqat system was instrumental in creating jobs for 300,000 Saudis in less than a year.
In 2011 alone, Saudi Arabia received a foreign direct investment of $38.6 billion, bringing total investments to $160 billion by April 2011
A number of economic measures were taken to ease investment regulations and attract more foreign investment. In 2011 alone, Saudi Arabia received a foreign direct investment of SR 145 billion, bringing total investments to SR 600 billion by April 2011.
King Abdullah laid the foundation for the largest expansion of the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah and instructed work to be completed in less than two years. The project will increase the mosque’s capacity to more than two million worshippers.
In the first month of the year, King Abdullah swore new ministers into office. They include Haj Minister, Bandar Hajar; Economy and Planning Minister, Muhammad Al-Jasser; Civil Service Minister, Abdul Rahman Al-Barrak; and Commerce and Industry Minister, Tawfiq Al-Rabiah.
In the same month, King Abdullah opened the GCC summit in Riyadh and proposed the six-member group become a GCC union. GCC leaders approved the proposal and assigned a committee to evaluate.
King Abdullah doubled the capital of the Industrial Development Fund to $10.6 billion
Government efforts to strengthen the industrial sector saw King Abdullah double the capital of the Industrial Development Fund to SR 40 billion. The king also announced the government’s plan to establish a large mining city in the Northern Border Province.
The Waad Mining City will receive SR 26 billion in preliminary investments including the set-up of a SR 21 billion phosphate company. The government will spend SR 4.5 billion on city infrastructure, which will cover an area of 440 sq. km, northeast of Turaif.
A number of new health projects were implemented in various parts of the country throughout the year, including a 500-bed hospital east of Riyadh at a cost of SR 455 million.
Saudi Arabia competed with other countries to provide humanitarian assistance to people all over the world who faced natural and man-made disasters. One such relief effort was the implementation of a major telethon and relief campaign to support Syrian refugees.
To wrap up the year, more than four million Muslim faithful from around the world performed a successful Haj.