By Ehab Alkindi. Project engineer of Saudi Aramco.
Saudi Arabia enhances new economic future.
A new era has started in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia since the arrival of the custodian of the two holly mosques, King Abdullah Bin Abdul-Aziz, who extended the orientation of the country from an oil producer and consumer to a field of Science, exploration, invention, and Technology.
The kingdom started this movement early on 2005 by sending thousands of college graduates to study abroad in different countries as a step to help Saudi youths to explore the outside world and widen their knowledge and experience. These graduates are carrying the hopes and dreams of all Saudis to bring the country back to its golden age during the time it was leading the world in Science and Technology during the 7th – 12th centuries.
I am proud to be a product of this scholarships program. I graduated from the Ohio State University with a Master Degree in Business and a Bachelor degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering. And I am currently a project engineer at Saudi Aramco, the world’s leading oil company which is playing a major role in assisting the king to reach his goals of improving Science and Technology and inspiring investments inside the kingdom.
As a project engineer at Saudi Aramco, I have been witnessing and participating in Saudi Arabia’s plans to enhance and improve the country’s economy and future. Saudi Aramco was directed by the king to build and operate new research centers such as King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) in Thuwal, King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center (KAPSARC) in Riyadh, and King Abdul Aziz Center for Knowledge and Culture in Dhahran.
In addition, the kingdom has established multiple high class research centers to attract premium brains from all over the world to participate in improving the quality of life. The kingdom invested billions of money to create environments suitable for research and struggled to provide all required resources.
There are many other on-going mega projects in Saudi Arabia including the construction of new cities. About 70 miles away from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia’s second largest populated city, there will be King Abdullah’s Economic city which will contain a new port, an economic restrict, an academic restrict, and a residential district. This city is anticipated to accommodate up to 1.8 Million people. There are also plans to extend and improve existing small cities such as Jazan, Hail, and Ras-Tanura.
A major achievement of this journey of development is to decrease the number of unemployment. The government has been taking serious actions to encounter unemployment by expediting project execution, project awarding and decreasing dependence on foreign manpower. The government has created strict regulations for all companies to employ Saudis. It also initiated programs to encourage small local Saudi companies to expand and hire Saudis.
Despite all these efforts and progresses in all aspects, Saudis believe that there are always areas for improvements. They believe that the wealth they are living in is a gift from God that they must be thankful of. And they can only be thankful to God by appreciating his bounties and helping his servants around the world. In Saudi Arabia, we can never reach perfection but we can always seek it.