Amid the turmoil of uprisings that convulsed the region in 2011, Saudi Arabia has positioned itself as one of the last bastions of stability
London: Inside the sprawling royal court in Riyadh, a team of technocrats is putting the final touches to plans for a drastic overhaul of the Saudi Arabian economy.
Backed by an army of highly paid western consultants, the royal aides have identified billions of dollars of waste and government largesse that the desert kingdom can no longer afford.
Less than a year after taking the helm of the absolute monarchy, King Salman Bin Abdul Aziz, 79, faces the daunting challenge of managing a new era in Saudi Arabia. The world’s largest oil producer and longstanding US ally has adopted an oil policy that protects its market share rather than the price. But while the impact has been cushioned by $640 billion (Dh2.35 trillion) in foreign exchange reserves, the age of $100-a-barrel oil has receded and budget surpluses have been replaced by yawning deficits.
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