It was April 2016 when the Royal Court and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman first published their boldly ambitious yet perfectly attainable Vision 2030. Built around three key themes: a vibrant society, a thriving economy, and an ambitious nation, the Vision 2030 when put simply is a comprehensive plan to transition Saudi Arabia’s economy away from their reliance on oil to diverse sectors of their economy for a much more balanced investment model.
One of the key reasons behind this plan is to develop other industries and sectors to ensure that the government is no longer dependent on a single source of revenue. Call it a rebranding exercise or a controlled experiment, it is foresighted that Saudi has decided to grow financially and socially when the economy is rich and prospering, all thanks to its traditional reserves of oil.
However, the journey is long, and change takes time. To attain this vision of a thriving economy, the Saudi Arabian society will have to go through a series of commitments to encourage education, innovation, and the spirit of entrepreneurship. Some of the most promising industries range from high-end manufacturing to financial services and tourism to entertainment and culture.
In this article, we will focus on some of the native and foreign brands that have aligned themselves with Vision 2030 and have decided to rebrand to cope with the changing times.
The Vision 2030 is a strategic master plan that encompasses a range of social and economical changes. The goal is to invest resources in hospitality and tourism to increase international travellers and double the number of UNESCO heritage sites. To align themselves with Vision 2030, InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) got into an agreement with Mohammed AbdulAziz Al Rajhi & Sons Investment Co to revamp and rebrand two hotels in Saudi Arabia.
The plan is to convert Coral Hotel to Saudi Arabia’s first, Voco Al Khobar, and the independently run Holiday Inn Al Khobar Ulaya will undergo a major refurbishment turning it into Holiday Inn Al Khobar, Voco’s first managed property in the Eastern Province.
This partnership between Mohammed AbdulAziz Al Rajhi & Sons Investment Co. has helped IHG, debut Voco in Saudi Arabia, and on the other hand, joining forces with IHG has helped this homegrown brand be a part of a strong legacy and leverage the growth opportunities that Saudi Vision 2030 presents.
Dammam Airports Company (DACO)
One of the other goals of Vision 2030 is to raise the standard of native companies to international levels. As a part of Saudi Vision 2030 Dammam’s King Fahd International Airport is being privatized and rebranded to give itself a more approachable, dynamic, and timeless look.
This new visual and verbal identity will help the brand Dammam International Airport establish itself as professional, dependable, and an industry leader. The aim is to transform the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia into the Middle East’s biggest economy and become an attractive financial and tourist destination.
Al Tayyar Travel Group To Seera
Al Tayyar Travel Group, one of the Middle East’s leading technology-powered travel and tourism companies, announced a complete rebrand in 2019. The reason is simple: Saudi Arabia’s travel and hospitality industry is undergoing a major economic and social transformation, and they are determined to be at the forefront, ready to serve travellers across B2B, B2C, and other verticals.
This rebranding exercise included changing the logo, identity, and even the brand name from Al Tayyar Travel Group to Seera, meaning journey.
When asked about the new brand, Seera’s CEO Abdullah Bin Nasser Al-Dawood said they are excited for this new chapter that will make their journey even more remarkable. Seera with its new identity will help fuel growth, accelerate progress and allow every employee, stakeholder, and every traveller to foster understanding amongst strangers, connect and breed tolerance.
Saudi Hollandi Bank To Alawwal Bank
Saudi Hollandi Bank was founded in 1926 becoming the first-ever bank to operate in the Kingdom. For decades, the bank has not only served the Hajj pilgrims but also gained the government’s trust with its premium services and maintained the long-standing commitment to supporting the economy. Presently, they are responsible for holding the Kingdom’s gold reserves and receiving oil revenues on behalf of the government.
However, in the digital times, even Saudi Arabia’s oldest bank had to step up and rebrand to connect with this tech-savvy, new generation of business leaders.
Aligning themselves with the government’s Vision 2030 plan, the bank underwent a digitally-driven rebranding changing its name from Saudi Hollandi Bank to Alawwal Bank, meaning ‘the first’ in Arabic. Along with that they have redesigned the entire visual identity across physical and digital touchpoints. The brand expression and visual language are designed to protect Alawwal Bank’s brand heritage while giving this institution a fresh, vibrant, more engaging aura to appeal to younger audiences.
SAFCO To SABIC Agri-Nutrients Co.
The Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC) announced its 100% acquisition by Saudi Arabian Fertilizers Company (SAFCO), leading it to change its name to SABIC Agri-Nutrients Investment Company.
One of the classic instances to rebrand, this deal is a result of the shared vision of expanding its global footprint by SABIC and SAFCO, to enhance and improve agri-nutrients solutions offered by KSA and expand its market to regions such as Africa and the Americas. It also envisages considerable opportunities for the growth and development of competitive advantages in the global marketplace.
The strategic framework of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 to push through economic and social reforms is a promising start. With this initiative, Saudi Arabia will successfully be able to carve its dependency on the raising and falling stocks of oil and finally develop public service sectors through trade, tourism, and property development.
In this article, we have listed some of the major players from diverse industries who have embraced the kingdom’s Vision 2030 but there are several more who are yet to discover the great potential that rebranding holds when the goal is to grow and expand to a global scale.
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