THE EFFECTIVENESS OF HOSTING OLYMPIC GAMES IN COMPLEMENTING THE KINGDOM OF SAUDI ARABIA’S (KSA’S) 2030 VISION
MOHAMMAD AHMAD ALFAHAD
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) has recently been relying on oil as the key source of revenue for economic development as well as the provision of public services. However, with the decline of oil prices globally coupled with environmental concerns and non-renewability of oil energy sources emerged the need to diversify its economy. This led to the development of the Saudi Vision 2030 to facilitate the diversification process. Sports is a key consideration for improving the business and tourist attractiveness of a country and also an important aspect emphasized in Vision 2030. The Kingdom has expressed its interest in immersing itself in the sports world both locally and internationally, and it is slated to host the 2034 Olympic Games after failing in its bid to host the 2030 Olympics. Given the potential impact of sports and sporting activities on the economy of the country, this study seeks to evaluate the effectiveness of hosting the Olympic Games and how this can complement the Vision 2030 goals. A good policy framework is a key to the successful hosting of the Olympic Games which the Kingdom’s policymakers can learn and transfer from other countries which have previously hosted the Olympic Games. Secondary data regarding four case studies including the 2012 London Olympics, 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, the 2000 Sydney Olympics, and the 2008 Beijing Olympics was collected through online searching for the relevant sources such as books, articles, journal websites, and government publications among others. The sources were analysed using an inductive approach. Based on the results of the inductive analysis of these case studies, several policies emerged which can be helpful to policymakers in Saudi Arabia. Evaluation of these policies has revealed the optimal policies which can help Saudi Arabia host the Olympic Games successfully, reap various benefits, and hence, complement its Vision 2030 objectives. These include investing in sports infrastructure such as stadiums, Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs), sustainable development, and environment conservation, National School Sports programs, and National Women Sports events. These policies are aligned to the objectives stipulated in the Vision 2030 program and are thus an important consideration for policymakers in preparation for hosting Olympic Games.