Online ISSN 2286-0266
Print ISSN 1223-0685
© 2023 Œconomica by ASE & SOREC
Mihai Răzvan NEDELCU
Academia de Studii Economice din Bucureşti
This paper’s aim is to analyse the economic prospects of adopting certain Industry 4.0 elements in the economies of the Gulf States, focusing on Saudi Arabia and its megaproject entitled “NEOM”, part of the country’s “Vision 2030”. Due to the volatility in oil prices around the world, the Gulf States are actively promoting ways to diversify their economies and to become less reliant on the natural resources sectors. Moreover, there have been talks about a “post-oil world”, making the matter even more important to the national governments. Therefore, measures are being taken by the states in order to diversify their economies, most of them appealing to the ambitious aspects surrounding the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Elements such as sustainability, automation and connectivity are expected to aid the transition away from oil and gas by attracting not just tourists, but also investors. All these components apply to Saudi Arabia’s planned autonomous city of NEOM. However, the sociocultural and economic dimensions are competing against each other, as the transition needs active reforms that bring disruption, much like Industry 4.0 itself.

ŒCONOMICA no. 3-4/2022
Keywords: Fourth Industrial Revolution, economic development, sectoral diversification, culture, sustainability, automation, connectivity
JEL: O14, O33, Q57, Z18
“Industry 4.0” and “Vanity Projects” as Means to Diversify an Economy: The Case of Saudi Arabia’s NEOM