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The KSA’s Quality of Life Program was launched in 2018 intending to impact the lives of citizens through an ambitious plan to elevate three specific areas (or sectors); the world of sports, general culture, and various facets of entertainment alongside all that organizing such events bring to the table. Though this and other programs have been established and funded for years now, the largest challenge has been getting people more active through program participation and utilizing facilities that have been put into place, while understanding that doing so would take hold of better positions in the international realm of sports and entertainment in a manner that best represents and promotes the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. From the 21 initial initiatives that comprise the goals of the Quality of Life Program, there are two that get ample attention, the first being active cities and the other is summed up as active people, focusing attention on a ground roots effort to get people more active in a variety of sports which will, in time, create rising sports stars while fostering growth and new jobs that are created by the influential sports-based culture.
Sports participation at all levels is a healthy and life-enriching activity that comes with life lessons, multiple opportunities, and social skill development, so it’s no accident that this program takes these things seriously, but that isn’t the end-all to the goals being realized by the Quality of Life Program by any means. It is also very interested in empowering other sectors such as tourism, entertainment, culture, and heritage, and has launched several academies and various programs, some of which are the Talent Development Program, the Mahd Sports Academy, and the Nomow Cultural Fund. Elevating the landscape has also been a focus in terms of fostering a better quality of life, pushing for higher living standards, enhancing city services, and overall, making the cities and their suburbs a better place to live, and as far as tourism goes, a desirable place to visit.
This program was launched under the Vision 2030 Project umbrella, sharing its goals and intentions, and has shown to be a program that reaps tangible results as the years tick by, the result most tangible would be the growth of tourism since 2018 that firmly places the KSA as the number one tourist destinations in all of the Middle East averaging 18-20 million visitors per year, with projected growth coinciding with the increasing popularity of organized sporting, entertainment, and cultural venues. The influx of tourism injects wealth across nearly all commercial sectors, which is a most welcome side effect that will help initiate growth in areas that need it, create opportunities for people local to tourist-targeted areas or sporting/concert destinations, and bolster communities surrounding such activities. These are all pieces to the puzzle that the KSA is incrementally mending together while moving forward toward the fulfillment of goals set by Vision 2030, but specifically, toward the well-being and stability of the nation as it removes itself from the dependency on the oil industry.
Prof. Alaa Alghamdi
Saudi Scholar & Writer *