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DDR
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What Is The Future Of Saudi Arabia?

Tue Jan 19, 2016 1:30 am

Serious question. It seems that Saudi Arabia relies heavily on oil for its economy. The price of oil keeps getting lower and with Iran now able to sell on the open market, the price is going to continue to fall.

How will the kingdom deal with this loss of income? Will they do something drastic to force the price of oil up in order to save the economy?
 
WearyDrover
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RE: What Is The Future Of Saudi Arabia?

Tue Jan 19, 2016 2:22 am

I am not sure what they can do to force the price up. By keeping the price low they make shale oil less attractive. By forcing the price up they make shale oil and other energy sources more attractive.

Saudi Arabia may accelerate moves towards diversification of the economy. Already there are some major petrochemical plant projects geared to adding value, but there are plans to develop other sectors of industry, reduce Saudi Arabia's reliance on foreign labour and provide employment for an increasingly well-educated local workforce.

In the immediate term, moves have been made to reduce subsidies on fuel (prices were increased by about 5% recently) with plans to lift subsidies altogether on petrol, kerosine, water and electricity. At the same time, the budget review spoke of reining in government expenditure in some areas.

[Edited 2016-01-18 18:27:36]
 
mham001
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RE: What Is The Future Of Saudi Arabia?

Tue Jan 19, 2016 5:43 am

It's amazing how quickly fracking changed the equation.
 
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TheFlyingDisk
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RE: What Is The Future Of Saudi Arabia?

Tue Jan 19, 2016 5:55 am

Would the sudden loss of subsidies & largesse push political reforms a la the Arab Spring on conservative Saudi Arabia?
 
WearyDrover
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RE: What Is The Future Of Saudi Arabia?

Tue Jan 19, 2016 6:30 am

Quoting TheFlyingDisk (Reply 3):
Would the sudden loss of subsidies & largesse push political reforms

The concerns about a possible backlash is one of the reasons why the Saudi Government has been cautious in its approach.

While the UAE removed subsidies recently without protests, in Kuwait the government partially backed down following a five day strike by co-operative bakers. Now bakeries there are exempt from the removal of the subsidy.

For this reason, at the moment it appears the Saudis will take a more gradual approach.
 
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Aaron747
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RE: What Is The Future Of Saudi Arabia?

Tue Jan 19, 2016 7:31 am

I'm more interested in what political moves KSA plays now that the sanction scheme for Iran is being dismantled. Iran is prepared to produce 500K barrels per day right out the gate. Don't tell me that won't provoke some calls for aggressive strategies in Riyadh.
 
QFA380
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RE: What Is The Future Of Saudi Arabia?

Tue Jan 19, 2016 8:15 am

Quoting WearyDrover (Reply 4):
While the UAE removed subsidies recently without protests

Have to remember the differences in the UAE and Saudi. Emiratis are generally quite rich and don't really care about fuel prices, expats are not going to protest when it is still hugely cheaper than their home countries.

Quoting Aaron747 (Reply 5):
Don't tell me that won't provoke some calls for aggressive strategies in Riyadh.

The Saudis will most likely try and create 'controlled instability', sort of what we see with ISIS. I'm sure the Iranians will be watchful of attempts to wreak havoc in their cities.

In the end the only way out for Saudi is changing their entire economy away from oil and drastically increasing the productivity of their citizens. They will never again dominate oil production at such high prices.

I for one would love to see the House of Saud fall. No government that routinely conducts mass beheadings for questionable reasons should have any legitimacy. North Korea doesn't do it, Zimbabwe doesn't do it, apartheid South Africa didn't do it. Call those regimes brutal if you want, Saudi Arabia is on another level.
 
ltbewr
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RE: What Is The Future Of Saudi Arabia?

Tue Jan 19, 2016 12:43 pm

One fear I have is the instability of the Saud family that rules the country, one that is the home of the most holy sites in Islam. Over the generations, we have seen several times assassination of the King, there is a growing problem hidden to the world of the internal battles for control and who is or will be the next King. The Saud family has supported the Wahhabi sect of Islam, spending billions of Saudi oil wealth spreading it, creating instability, terrorism and imposing inhumanity to almost all women.
There are also other serious problems: Saudi Arabia has no real financial structure or accounting as a government should have. The population has expanded quickly, Islam encourages many children (especially males) and discourages any form of birth control and improved health care may mean too many people that the country can support. They rely too much on one product, oil and religious pilgrims, mostly concentrated to 2 week a year (Hajj). We have see several times in recent years 100's killed in crushing mobs they couldn't control during those ceremonies. Bribery is normal practice and puts the USA at a disadvantage.
 
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einsteinboricua
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RE: What Is The Future Of Saudi Arabia?

Tue Jan 19, 2016 12:53 pm

Quoting DDR (Thread starter):
How will the kingdom deal with this loss of income?

Keep selling foreign reserves to cover the budget and consider selling state-owned assets. Aramco is to go public by selling a 5% stake to investors. Rumored to be worth around $75b (that 5% slice), it would represent a way for the kingdom to not resort to depleting foreign reserves.

Quoting DDR (Thread starter):
Will they do something drastic to force the price of oil up in order to save the economy?

Not for now. Their strategy is to defend market share. When the Gulf monarchies start feeling the pain (like really strained), that's when I think they'll consider changing the strategy. For now, they're hoping the market corrects itself by pushing out competitors with higher production costs (US shale oil, for example).
 
N1120A
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RE: What Is The Future Of Saudi Arabia?

Tue Jan 19, 2016 5:08 pm

Hopefully a disintegration of the terrorist, Takfiri, Wahabbi regime and a rebirth as a democratic state.
 
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einsteinboricua
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RE: What Is The Future Of Saudi Arabia?

Tue Jan 19, 2016 6:10 pm

Quoting ltbewr (Reply 7):
Over the generations, we have seen several times assassination of the King

The modern Saudi state (founded in the 1930s and the one that's been influential and in existence up to this very day) has only seen one king assassinated (Faisal), one king deposed by consensus (Saud), and all others dying of natural causes. Before Saudi Arabia even existed, there were bloody battles to establish control, but this was not even a blip in world news with all the oil lying underneath the desert, untouched.
 
bhill
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RE: What Is The Future Of Saudi Arabia?

Tue Jan 19, 2016 6:53 pm

Quoting N1120A (Reply 9):
Hopefully a disintegration of the terrorist, Takfiri, Wahabbi regime and a rebirth as a democratic state.

Going to be hard for a populace that has no idea what or how Demcracy works....Cannot happen overnight, and MORE corruption WILL occur....nope....once the subsidies end, the Saudi family will get into a shooting war with Iran, becuse that is what they are going to tell their serfs...."This was caused by...THEM....not us" Works every time...
 
slider
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RE: What Is The Future Of Saudi Arabia?

Wed Jan 20, 2016 1:37 pm

Quoting mham001 (Reply 2):
It's amazing how quickly fracking changed the equation.

Yup. There's a real success story here with domestic exploration in the US that doesn't get a lot of credit. And that's WITH the US administration resisting the movement. But it worked--the US took some not insignificant steps toward energy independence, even with frittering away billions with the alternative energy failures.

Quoting QFA380 (Reply 6):
I for one would love to see the House of Saud fall. No government that routinely conducts mass beheadings for questionable reasons should have any legitimacy. North Korea doesn't do it, Zimbabwe doesn't do it, apartheid South Africa didn't do it. Call those regimes brutal if you want, Saudi Arabia is on another level.

I don't disagree fundamentally, but as we have seen, the power vacuum in the ME after other stalwart regimes fell is problematic. It would probably lead to more terrorism and instability than not.

Quoting N1120A (Reply 9):
Hopefully a disintegration of the terrorist, Takfiri, Wahabbi regime and a rebirth as a democratic state.

I don't know if that could or even should happen. I despise the Wahhabist Saudi regime as much as anyone, but the devil you know, as they say.
 
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pvjin
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RE: What Is The Future Of Saudi Arabia?

Wed Jan 20, 2016 2:23 pm

Quoting slider (Reply 12):
I don't disagree fundamentally, but as we have seen, the power vacuum in the ME after other stalwart regimes fell is problematic. It would probably lead to more terrorism and instability than not.

KSA with its mosque funding projects and offering training to foreign Muslim imams is a major reason for rise of Salafist terrorism globally. So in long term KSA's fall would be a good thing for world peace. Besides, Middle East right now is so messed up that it can't get much worse than that no matter what happens and Europe is going to face an unprecedented wave of terror and social instability no matter if it's million or 5 million Muslim refugees coming to Europe each year.
 
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flyingturtle
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RE: What Is The Future Of Saudi Arabia?

Wed Jan 20, 2016 3:05 pm

Quoting N1120A (Reply 9):
Hopefully a disintegration of the terrorist, Takfiri, Wahabbi regime and a rebirth as a democratic state.

Sigh. I really hope so! But will be extremely tough. Perhaps the royal family could step down, get UN supervision for the transition... but then, the only ones that do real work in KSA are the foreign (slave) workers. They need to be represented too, and this will be hairy...


David
 
CaliAtenza
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RE: What Is The Future Of Saudi Arabia?

Wed Jan 20, 2016 6:20 pm

Quoting N1120A (Reply 9):

Hopefully a disintegration of the terrorist, Takfiri, Wahabbi regime and a rebirth as a democratic state.

I don't think democracy is going to be happening there anytime soon. Islam and democracy are fundamentally incapable of co-existing. More than likely, some ISIS/Al Qaeda type organization might take over. That's going to be bad news for the rest of us, so as bad as the Al Sauds are, might be better to keep them in power.
 
bluejuice
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RE: What Is The Future Of Saudi Arabia?

Wed Jan 20, 2016 6:39 pm

I spent some time in KSA on business and spoke with many people off the record. Some are keenly aware the kingdom is at a crossroad. Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum's words are starting to take some effect, "My grandfather rode a camel, my father rode a camel, I drive a Mercedes, my son drives a Land Rover, his son will drive a Land Rover, but his son will ride a camel." The Sauds family have so far managed to buy some stability with massive social spending and iron fist rule. Once the massive government subsidies start to dry up, discontent will rise. As ltbewr stated, families are big and there is large population of young people under 30. The government can no longer afford to hand out cushy, do nothing government jobs leading to a big unemployment problem. Unfortunately, many are not educated or willing to work in the private sector where businesses need to compete. Social unrest will grow and crackdowns can only go so far. The question is whether the house of Saud can put aside infighting and prepare the kingdom for a post oil future.
 
B777LRF
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RE: What Is The Future Of Saudi Arabia?

Wed Jan 20, 2016 7:15 pm

Quoting DDR (Thread starter):
How will the kingdom deal with this loss of income? Will they do something drastic to force the price of oil up in order to save the economy?

The obvious idea is to give the local population a massive kick up their backsides, get them off their lazy so-and-so's and starting actually working. There are hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of jobs in the private sector in Saudi being taken by expatriate workers. Everything from cleaners to CEO's.

Couple that with the introduction of income tax and VAT.

If Saudi did that it would bring millions from being recipients of social welfare to tax payers.

But, and one might add 'luckily', that won't happen until it is way too late. The average KSA citizen is a lazy, greedy person totally unfamiliar with the concept of putting in a days work, with many of them finding the whole idea of working beneath them. Those locals who are employed have usually gained that status via a 'job' in the public sector. I say 'job' because they, generally speaking, are not expected to do much on the odd occasions they do decide to come in to work. Usually late, always leaving early, having produced the sum total of diddly squat in the time between.
 
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scbriml
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RE: What Is The Future Of Saudi Arabia?

Wed Jan 20, 2016 8:27 pm

Quoting N1120A (Reply 9):
Hopefully a disintegration of the terrorist, Takfiri, Wahabbi regime and a rebirth as a democratic state.

The problem is, if the House of Saud falls, the country will end up like Syria.

Quoting BlueJuice (Reply 16):
The government can no longer afford to hand out cushy, do nothing government jobs leading to a big unemployment problem. Unfortunately, many are not educated or willing to work in the private sector where businesses need to compete.

I worked for an American company in a JV with a Saudi company. Although allegedly a 50-50 JV, the Saudis ran it like it was their toy. There was a policy that a certain percentage of the JV's workforce had to be locals. They all expected senior management positions and to do a maximum of about 20 hours 'work' a week. After six months, we closed it down and pulled out.
 
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casinterest
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RE: What Is The Future Of Saudi Arabia?

Wed Jan 20, 2016 8:38 pm

The Saudi's have a lot of money to ride the wave of low oil, but they will have pressure put on them month by month to work their way out of this. In the short term, I think Oil will rise again, but with alternative energy sources well under development, the rise of oil to previous heights may not happen. The Saudi's will have to diversify the economy and their tolerance for skilled workers and cultures in order to survive.
 
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flyingturtle
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RE: What Is The Future Of Saudi Arabia?

Wed Jan 20, 2016 10:41 pm

Quoting casinterest (Reply 19):
The Saudi's will have to diversify the economy and their tolerance for skilled workers and cultures in order to survive.

Look at Switzerland, a country with nearly zero natural resources (except copious amounts of rainfall, snow and ice which grant us a huge amount of electrical power). We have specialized in tourism, banking/money laundering, science and some areas of engineering. A great lot of cars have some (tiny) Swiss parts built in them. A "We'll do business with everybody when the price is right" attitude gave us a lot of wealth, but well... cf. our dealings with South Africa when the UN embargo was in force. Or (limited) trade with the Eastern bloc states, or the Nazi government in the past.

The Gulf states could turn into a service economy, like a huge conference center for the whole world. IT business is already taken by India. Science? Holiday destination, like a kind of Las Vegas?


David
 
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scbriml
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RE: What Is The Future Of Saudi Arabia?

Wed Jan 20, 2016 11:15 pm

Quoting flyingturtle (Reply 20):
Holiday destination, like a kind of Las Vegas?

But without the casinos, booze or prostitutes.   
 
bluejuice
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RE: What Is The Future Of Saudi Arabia?

Thu Jan 21, 2016 12:36 am

Quoting flyingturtle (Reply 20):
The Gulf states could turn into a service economy, like a huge conference center for the whole world. IT business is already taken by India. Science? Holiday destination, like a kind of Las Vegas?
Quoting scbriml (Reply 21):
But without the casinos, booze or prostitutes.

Dubai is a unique place in the Middle East in that tourism is a major contributor to its economy. Still, behind the relatively progressive policies, Sharia law is still observed. Alcohol is only available at select locations and not tolerated outside those venues. Modest dress and segregation of the sexes is still observed. The other Emirates are much more conservative. I do not see Saudi Arabia even approaching Abu Dhabi in terms of openess. A person cannot just enter the kingdom for tourism purposes. Just getting a visa to enter the country for business was quite a process. Once inside, the country is very traditional and conservative. In general, the culture is not conducive to becoming a tourist destination.
 
N1120A
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RE: What Is The Future Of Saudi Arabia?

Thu Jan 21, 2016 12:54 am

Quoting bhill (Reply 11):

Going to be hard for a populace that has no idea what or how Demcracy works

You really think that is true? In the age of the internet?

Quoting slider (Reply 12):
I despise the Wahhabist Saudi regime as much as anyone, but the devil you know, as they say.

Oh please. They are the single worst government on earth, and they are the number one supplier of terrorists in the west - particularly to the US.

Quoting slider (Reply 12):

I don't know if that could or even should happen.

Then you clearly don't care about the best interests of the US or the people in Saudi Arabia.

Quoting CaliAtenza (Reply 15):
Islam and democracy are fundamentally incapable of co-existing

That isn't true at all.

Quoting scbriml (Reply 18):
The problem is, if the House of Saud falls, the country will end up like Syria.

Guess what - it already is. The Saudis are just a slightly cleaner version of ISIS - their proxy army.
 
mham001
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RE: What Is The Future Of Saudi Arabia?

Thu Jan 21, 2016 12:57 am

Quoting casinterest (Reply 19):
I think Oil will rise again, but with alternative energy sources well under development, the rise of oil to previous heights may not happen.

I don't think they should count on ever seeing those prices again. The beauty of it all, at ~$40+, the N American frackers will open up the pumps again, or wherever their breakeven point and that point continues to decline with time. Fracking is also spreading around the world, Brazil, China, etc. I believe it is already too late for KSA to diversify, that takes many years if not decades. They don't have that much money. Hail American technology.
 
N1120A
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RE: What Is The Future Of Saudi Arabia?

Thu Jan 21, 2016 1:04 am

I remember seeing, several years ago when fracking technology wasn't nearly as developed, that shale extraction is quite profitable over $35 bbl. The Saudis really don't have much choice.
 
bluejuice
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RE: What Is The Future Of Saudi Arabia?

Thu Jan 21, 2016 1:59 am

Quoting casinterest (Reply 19):
I think Oil will rise again, but with alternative energy sources well under development, the rise of oil to previous heights may not happen.
Quoting mham001 (Reply 24):
I don't think they should count on ever seeing those prices again. The beauty of it all, at ~$40+, the N American frackers will open up the pumps again, or wherever their breakeven point and that point continues to decline with time. Fracking is also spreading around the world, Brazil, China, etc. I believe it is already too late for KSA to diversify, that takes many years if not decades. They don't have that much money. Hail American technology.
Quoting N1120A (Reply 25):

I remember seeing, several years ago when fracking technology wasn't nearly as developed, that shale extraction is quite profitable over $35 bbl. The Saudis really don't have much choice.

I have also wondered whether we are seeing the sunset of Saudi Arabia's (also the Middle East and OPEC's) influence on the world stage because of the boom in fracking. Breakeven prices for shale oil will continue to drop as technology improves and engineers become more experienced.

As for the Saudis, there are doubts on whether their oil fields can continue to be economically exploited. From what I have read, it costs ARAMCO $5 to extract a barrel of oil. As their fields age, particularly the cash cow Ghawar Field, more effort such as water injection needs to be done to keep up pressure. Saudi oil is also sour and heavy which means they cannot command the same price per barrel as WTI and Brent crude. With the US and China seeing energy independence as a possibility, the need to play the geopolitical game is significantly reduced. Even with cheaper oil, the development of alternate energy will not stop as carbon has become the new political boogeyman. Solar and wind will continue to subsidized and politically mandated.

For those interested in the development of shale oil, check out the book, "The Frackers: The Outrageous Inside Story of the New Billionaire Wildcatters" by Gregory Zuckerman. I am only a few dozen pages in but its a great read so far.

[Edited 2016-01-20 18:12:54]
 
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SOBHI51
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RE: What Is The Future Of Saudi Arabia?

Thu Jan 21, 2016 2:51 am

Quoting N1120A (Reply 23):
or the people in Saudi Arabia.

So you represent the people of Saudi Arabia these days?

Quoting N1120A (Reply 23):
The Saudis are just a slightly cleaner version of ISIS - their proxy army.

So you speak on behalf of the cleaner version of ISIS.
 
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Aaron747
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RE: What Is The Future Of Saudi Arabia?

Thu Jan 21, 2016 3:06 am

Quoting SOBHI51 (Reply 27):
So you speak on behalf of the cleaner version of ISIS.

What then, sir, is your take on the extraordinary impact of KSA's financial push for Salafist education since the 1970s? To what extent shall the current government be held responsible for the movements such education have spawned? The results have not been good for the region and beyond. That much is not in dispute.
 
N1120A
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RE: What Is The Future Of Saudi Arabia?

Thu Jan 21, 2016 3:20 am

Quoting SOBHI51 (Reply 27):

So you represent the people of Saudi Arabia these days?

You seem to have escaped.
 
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SOBHI51
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RE: What Is The Future Of Saudi Arabia?

Thu Jan 21, 2016 4:34 am

Quoting N1120A (Reply 29):
You seem to have escaped.

Maybe, got lucky, but still only Saudi's decide what they want.

Quoting Aaron747 (Reply 28):
That much is not in dispute.

I never disputed that. Still, Places like Syria, started as a people movement asking for freedom and democracy, the end of the Assad regime, when the west did nothing but lip service, extremists filled the vacuum.
 
CaliAtenza
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RE: What Is The Future Of Saudi Arabia?

Thu Jan 21, 2016 5:48 pm

Quoting N1120A (Reply 23):
That isn't true at all.

Let me rephrase; the Wahabist interpretation of Islam is incapable of coexisting with anything else.
 
bhill
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RE: What Is The Future Of Saudi Arabia?

Thu Jan 21, 2016 6:59 pm

Quoting N1120A (Reply 23):
You really think that is true? In the age of the internet?

Yep....pretty sure the populace in the KSA do not have unfettered Internet access...in a place were women are treated like chattel? Because if the "citizens" WERE allowed unfettered Internet access, they would have the ability to research how life is elsewhere....
 
jacobin777
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RE: What Is The Future Of Saudi Arabia?

Thu Jan 21, 2016 8:24 pm

Quoting CaliAtenza (Reply 15):
Islam and democracy are fundamentally incapable of co-existing.

While Islamic countries such as Pakistan, Indonesia, Malaysia might not be the "perfect democracy", they still have voting, etc.

Sort of voids your comments.

Quoting BlueJuice (Reply 16):
Unfortunately, many are not educated or willing to work in the private sector where businesses need to compete.

That is indeed a problem. Saudi must force the younger nationals to study, etc.

Quoting B777LRF (Reply 17):
The obvious idea is to give the local population a massive kick up their backsides, get them off their lazy so-and-so's and starting actually working. There are hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of jobs in the private sector in Saudi being taken by expatriate workers. Everything from cleaners to CEO's.

IMHO there is some truth to this. Saudi at the very least needs to start getting some (or more) of the local population to work.

Quoting scbriml (Reply 18):
The problem is, if the House of Saud falls, the country will end up like Syria.

  .

Quoting N1120A (Reply 23):
Quoting scbriml (Reply 18):
The problem is, if the House of Saud falls, the country will end up like Syria.

Guess what - it already is. The Saudis are just a slightly cleaner version of ISIS - their proxy army.

Not even close.

Quoting N1120A (Reply 25):
I remember seeing, several years ago when fracking technology wasn't nearly as developed, that shale extraction is quite profitable over $35 bbl. The Saudis really don't have much choice.

A lot of the U.S. fracking, oil/shale are starting to lose money and have a lot of financial problems. We're beginning to see a lot of problems of these companies in the bond market.

Another link:

http://www.businessinsider.com/r-oil...g-us-shale-survival-artists-2016-1

Quoting CaliAtenza (Reply 31):
Quoting N1120A (Reply 23):
That isn't true at all.

Let me rephrase; the Wahabist interpretation of Islam is incapable of coexisting with anything else.

Fortunately they aren't in the majority.

The vase majority of Muslims in the world want basically what everyone else want. Food to eat, a job to bring money, a family and a roof over their heads.
 
bluejuice
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RE: What Is The Future Of Saudi Arabia?

Thu Jan 21, 2016 8:55 pm

Quoting jacobin777 (Reply 33):
While Islamic countries such as Pakistan, Indonesia, Malaysia might not be the "perfect democracy", they still have voting, etc.

+Bangladesh

Quoting jacobin777 (Reply 33):
IMHO there is some truth to this. Saudi at the very least needs to start getting some (or more) of the local population to work.

When in the KSA on business, 95% of the people I interacted with were expats and guest workers. The Saudis I did interact with made US government workers seem ultraefficient. At one point I went one week without speaking to a Saudi national. Work ethic is certainly an area that needs work. On my flight into RUH, my seatmate preapologized for the experience I was about to go through. Out of all my coworkers, I the "luckiest" having spent only 2 hours in the immigration line. My boss spent 6 hours with the team average being 3.5 to get through. I was processed by a very disinterested immigration officer that was more concerned with carrying on a conversation with the officer one booth over. After each step, he would pause and have a 5 minute conversation. I was smiling because the experience actually amused me. My treatment was considered VIP as I had a US passport with a business visa. I was told those from southeast Asia on work visas could sometimes spend a day or more in line to enter the country. Contrast that with the DXB and AUH, where everything was fast, efficient, and friendly.

[Edited 2016-01-21 12:56:18]
 
QANTAS077
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RE: What Is The Future Of Saudi Arabia?

Thu Jan 21, 2016 9:46 pm

check-mate?

just some idea of how stupid the KSA and it's religious leaders have become..if chess encourages gambling then I'd hate to think how they view football?! how odd, you've got kings and princes jetting off around the world, whilst religious leaders tryt to remain relevant.

antiquated society at the very least.

http://www.theguardian.com/world/201...udi-arabia-grand-mufti?CMP=soc_567
 
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scbriml
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RE: What Is The Future Of Saudi Arabia?

Thu Jan 21, 2016 11:28 pm

Quoting N1120A (Reply 23):
Guess what - it already is.

No it isn't. It will become a bloodbath that will make Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan look like a kids playground.

Quoting QANTAS077 (Reply 35):
just some idea of how stupid the KSA and it's religious leaders have become..if chess encourages gambling then I'd hate to think how they view football?

Chess subversive? I think it's a grey area, not at all black and white.   
 
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Aesma
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RE: What Is The Future Of Saudi Arabia?

Fri Jan 22, 2016 2:00 am

Quoting BlueJuice (Reply 22):
In general, the culture is not conducive to becoming a tourist destination.

It isn't conducive to becoming anything, that's the problem. Tourism less so than the rest, these idiots are destroying the few historical sites they got !

Quoting N1120A (Reply 23):
You really think that is true? In the age of the internet?

There is internet in Russia, do Russians understand democracy ?
 
DDR
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RE: What Is The Future Of Saudi Arabia?

Fri Jan 22, 2016 2:28 am

As much as I despise the Saudi leadership, I do have a fear that Saudi Arabia may become a bloodbath like Iraq and Syria once the money runs out. I think ISIS would be welcomed with open arms once the good life ends for Saudis. I hope I'm wrong but I don't think so.

Iran is the best hope for bringing stability to the region.
 
bluejuice
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RE: What Is The Future Of Saudi Arabia?

Fri Jan 22, 2016 2:57 am

Quoting Aesma (Reply 37):
It isn't conducive to becoming anything, that's the problem. Tourism less so than the rest, these idiots are destroying the few historical sites they got !

Sadly Mecca is being destroyed from what I have been told. One of my coworkers did the Hajj in the 80s and again last year. While he welcomed improvements to health and safety, he was aghast at the gaudy commercialization. Sites associated with the "wrong" denomination of Islam had been razed to put up luxury hotels and malls. He was saddened as the pilgrimage was supposed to put the poor and rich side by side as equals. "VIPs" now get preferential treatment. What was once a special journey to show devotion to their faith and strength to withstand hardships has becoming a money making tourist trap.
 
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SOBHI51
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RE: What Is The Future Of Saudi Arabia?

Fri Jan 22, 2016 3:20 am

Quoting Aesma (Reply 37):
Tourism less so than the rest, these idiots are destroying the few historical sites they got !

News to me, can you explain please.
 
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RE: What Is The Future Of Saudi Arabia?

Fri Jan 22, 2016 3:31 am

Quoting BlueJuice (Reply 39):
Sites associated with the "wrong" denomination of Islam had been razed to put up luxury hotels and malls

There is nothing in Mecca called " wrong" denomination.
If you mean Shia, well they never did have any sites there, maybe in Qum.

As for the expansion of the holy Mosque please see the following

http://nativepakistan.com/photos-of-mecca-makkah/
 
N1120A
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RE: What Is The Future Of Saudi Arabia?

Fri Jan 22, 2016 5:09 am

Quoting SOBHI51 (Reply 30):
but still only Saudi's decide what they want.

More like their government decides to export ISIS, genocide in Yemen and other horrors.

Quoting jacobin777 (Reply 33):
Not even close.

Dead on accurate.

Quoting Aesma (Reply 37):
There is internet in Russia, do Russians understand democracy ?

Depends on what you call democracy.
 
mandala499
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RE: What Is The Future Of Saudi Arabia?

Fri Jan 22, 2016 5:34 am

Quoting N1120A (Reply 9):
Hopefully a disintegration of the terrorist, Takfiri, Wahabbi regime and a rebirth as a democratic state.

A lot of us non-Wahabbi Sunni Muslims hope for that, but we know it's going to be a tricky change, and a long one, if it ever happens.

Quoting pvjin (Reply 13):
KSA with its mosque funding projects and offering training to foreign Muslim imams is a major reason for rise of Salafist terrorism globally.

Oh God... their rise is giving enough problems as it is without the terrorism...   The wave of intolerance imported by these guys into countries such as mine will only raise the intolerance. Luckily, "nationalists/traditionalists Muslims" are fighting back. (Our "traditionalists" reject any forms of intolerance, respecting our pre-Islamic cultures and traditions, as well as coexistence).

Quoting flyingturtle (Reply 20):
We have specialized in tourism, banking/money laundering, science and some areas of engineering.
The Gulf states could turn into a service economy, like a huge conference center for the whole world.

With regards to Switzerland, my main worry is that the fall in oil and petrodollars will affect the Swiss economy... (eg: there'll be less money to launder/deposit for whatever).

Quoting flyingturtle (Reply 20):
Holiday destination, like a kind of Las Vegas?

Many of us call it the "Sharia Vegas"... Ancient sites are demolished to make way for hotels and malls around the holy mosque. Some here have put it like moving the Vatican to Las Vegas and banning all the casinos, booze and prostitutes.

Quoting scbriml (Reply 21):
But without the casinos, booze or prostitutes.

Exactly.

Quoting jacobin777 (Reply 33):
While Islamic countries such as Pakistan, Indonesia, Malaysia might not be the "perfect democracy", they still have voting, etc.

While we also fight against religious extremists and their terrorism... So, they (allegedly sponsored by IS) wanted to bomb Christmas and New Year's celebrations in Jakarta... we nabbed quite a few of them... and then they pulled off a pathetic attack in the middle of Jakarta (police quashed them in 2 hours)... And... seems that not many have noticed, and not many covered the marches and peaceful demonstrations protesting against the threat from intolerance and religious extremism... (yeah, doesn't sell well! The attack on Burkina Faso made better headlines for marketing purposes I guess).

Quoting BlueJuice (Reply 39):
While he welcomed improvements to health and safety, he was aghast at the gaudy commercialization. Sites associated with the "wrong" denomination of Islam had been razed to put up luxury hotels and malls. He was saddened as the pilgrimage was supposed to put the poor and rich side by side as equals. "VIPs" now get preferential treatment. What was once a special journey to show devotion to their faith and strength to withstand hardships has becoming a money making tourist trap.

Not "wrong denomination", but historical sites not essential to the pilgrimage, because the Wahhabis do not believe that the historical values will add to the benefit of the religion and will detriment it instead...
 
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SOBHI51
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RE: What Is The Future Of Saudi Arabia?

Fri Jan 22, 2016 5:46 am

Quoting mandala499 (Reply 43):
Ancient sites are demolished to make way for hotels and malls around the holy mosque.

You should know better, If you saw the pictures i posted earlier, all the work done is to enlarge the holy Mosque so that it can take more pilgrims and make it easier to complete the Hajj or Omrah.

I am no Wahabi, but let's not forget that there is no visa fees for Hajj and the gov doesn't get any economical benefits to balance the expenses it does occur during Hajj, from free medical services, providing security, water etc...

No sir, it's not to build big hotels, but to serve brother Muslims.
 
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RE: What Is The Future Of Saudi Arabia?

Fri Jan 22, 2016 7:35 am

Quoting SOBHI51 (Reply 44):
You should know better, If you saw the pictures i posted earlier, all the work done is to enlarge the holy Mosque so that it can take more pilgrims and make it easier to complete the Hajj or Omrah.

The enlargement of the mosque is an acceptable measure, but the hotels and new developments just outside it, just raises our eyebrows. The Abraj Al Bait Towers... in my opinion, is an insult to the Ka'abah...  
Quoting SOBHI51 (Reply 44):
let's not forget that there is no visa fees for Hajj and the gov doesn't get any economical benefits to balance the expenses it does occur during Hajj, from free medical services, providing security, water etc...

No sir, it's not to build big hotels, but to serve brother Muslims.

Let's also not forget that more people going to Umrah and Hajj = More religious tourists = more money spent there = economic benefit.
Let's not pretend that this is purely to "serve brothers" when we come to the developments outside the Masjid Al Haraam.

Quoting SOBHI51 (Reply 44):
I am no Wahabi,

That I know. You don't sound like them!  
 
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RE: What Is The Future Of Saudi Arabia?

Fri Jan 22, 2016 8:07 am

Quoting mandala499 (Reply 45):
Let's also not forget that more people going to Umrah and Hajj = More religious tourists = more money spent there = economic benefit.

With all due respect, and i am expressing myself as a person who went to Hajj few times and more so for Umrah, and trust me i am not putting anybody down, the majority of foreigners spend next to nothing in Hajj, i have seen it with my own eyes, those brothers, going for the feeding vans and drinks offered for free by Saudi citizens, members of the royal family, companies etc...
Now for the exemption of few gifts there is nothing called religious tourists even if it exists only the merchants will benefit and not the Saudi government.

Quoting mandala499 (Reply 45):
Let's not pretend that this is purely to "serve brothers" when we come to the developments outside the Masjid Al Haraam.

I am not pretending, but saying facts, yes there is new hotels in the new project, but those will replace existing hotels due to be demolished for the expansion.

Quoting mandala499 (Reply 45):
The Abraj Al Bait Towers... in my opinion, is an insult to the Ka'abah..

Trust me, no Muslim will accept any insult to the Ka'abah

Quoting mandala499 (Reply 45):
That I know. You don't sound like them!

Now i am in trouble   
 
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RE: What Is The Future Of Saudi Arabia?

Fri Jan 22, 2016 8:21 am

I would like to add something

There is a lot of schools, some are excellent, the new generation are getting a good education, a lot of high school graduates, are following college studies overseas there are very smart and the percentage of success in there studies is over 90%. The last figure i heard was over 60,00 students are in foreign colleges.
The problem is with the Saudi's is that they trust foreigners more when it comes to fields like medicine and engineering, old habits dies slow, from my own experience lately, Saudi doctors are as good if not better, than any foreign doctors, but they need the chance to prove it.

On the lower side of the scale, even the poorest Saudi will refuse to do labor work, it's impossible to find a Saudi driver, gardener, cleaner etc... There is the problem. The kingdom is loosing a LOT of money from the international money transfers that our guest workers are sending them back home.
 
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RE: What Is The Future Of Saudi Arabia?

Fri Jan 22, 2016 5:33 pm

Quoting CaliAtenza (Reply 31):
Let me rephrase; the Wahabist interpretation of Islam is incapable of coexisting with anything else.

That is probably valid for every religion that also is into politics/governing.

Europe took rather long to defang the churches and form a rational society.
The US has regressed ( or avoided that path altogether? no I don't thinks so:
Fundi Christian beliefs are a new strain of mental illness and their retreat from
reality goes in lockstep with Fundi Islam and Fundi Jewish ideologies ).
 
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RE: What Is The Future Of Saudi Arabia?

Fri Jan 22, 2016 6:15 pm

Quoting SOBHI51 (Reply 30):
Places like Syria, started as a people movement asking for freedom and democracy, the end of the Assad regime, when the west did nothing but lip service, extremists filled the vacuum.

KSA already IS ruled by terrorist extremists.

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