Analysis & Opinions - New York Daily News

The Path to a New Saudi Arabia

  • Dennis Ross
| June 29, 2017

Where the new crown prince wants to take the critical Gulf state, and the obstacles in his way

Saudi Arabia has a new crown prince. Mohammed bin Salman, known as MbS, is clearly now slated to succeed his father, King Salman. At 31, the kingdom has never seen anyone like him. He has been given very wide responsibilities as defense minister and overseer of the Saudi economy and its transformation. As one Saudi minister said to me shortly before I met him, “You are about to meet our force of nature.”

There is no question that he is driven. He believes that Saudi Arabia must diversify its economy and modernize the state, its governance and even its sociology. He knows that in an age of rapid technological change, Saudi Arabia must create a knowledge-based economy.

Visit the college of entrepreneurship in King Abdullah City and it feels like being on the Google campus. But it is not just the layout, it is the coed students, who exude an energy and sense that they can reshape the country. And there is little doubt that MbS is their inspiration.

Whether they and the new crown prince can succeed remains to be seen.

For more information on this publication: Belfer Communications Office
For Academic Citation: Ross, Dennis.“The Path to a New Saudi Arabia.” New York Daily News, June 29, 2017.

The Author

Dennis Ross