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Liam Denning

Saudi Arabia Slows Down To Speed Up

Turns out overhauling an oil-dependent economy in an oil crash isn't easy.
Photographer: Pool

Watching stuff slow down but somehow feeling like things are speeding up sounds like something that might happen in hyperspace -- or, you know, Saudi Arabia in 2017.

It appears the government's ambitious reform plan, sprung upon the world with great fanfare last year, was perhaps a tad too ambitious. Reports emerged this week that it will get a do-over to make it "more focused". Given some of the problems experienced so far in giving Saudi Arabians a taste of reform, plus the sheer magnitude of the proposed overhaul, the correct response to this news is something along the lines of "like, duh."