Saudi Arabian Youth: Children of oil

Who will run Saudi Arabia – the world’s biggest oil producer – once the current generation hands over? What are the attitudes of young people in a society where they are in the majority? Mai Yamani reflects on the results of her two-year study. Hundreds of interviews have been distilled into composite characters, three of which are presented here.

The World Today Published 1 March 2000 Updated 27 October 2020 6 minute READ

Mai Yamani

Associate Fellow, Middle East Programme, Chatham House

Saudi Arabia sits on at least a quarter of the world’s proven oil reserves and is the largest single oil exporter. The world energy sector has seen huge transformations during the last decade with oil conglomerates becoming more powerful in setting future energy trends. Individual governments have lost some of their power to price oil, and become susceptible to international market forces.

Saudi Arabia relies heavily on oil and its income has fluctuated with global developments. We cannot know what this means for the internal and external security of this giant energy producing country unless we understand the thinking of those who will be the decision-makers in the 21st century.

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