This post is part of an AGSIW series on Saudi Vision 2030, a sweeping set of programs and reforms adopted by the Saudi government to be implemented by 2030.
On June 4, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan announced a new social support program for citizens in the emirate to double the number of the government’s annual subsidized housing loans. There is a broad trend in the Gulf Arab states to whittle down subsidies and chip away at public sector wage bills, but the reality is that states are continuing to spend in large fiscal outlays. They are targeting spending, notably in grand development plans, while also trying to create new revenue streams from citizens, residents, and the private sector. The choices of where to cut government spending (and how to anticipate both economic and political reactions to those cuts) have become vital to a new experimental style of public policymaking in the Gulf.