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Digital advancements propelling Saudi Arabia toward Vision 2030 goals: top official 

RIYADH: Digital advancements in Saudi Arabia have significantly enhanced efficiency across key sectors, reducing the need for physical visits to government departments and leading to considerable savings, said a top official. 

Addressing the annual meetings of the Islamic Development Bank Group, Ahmed Al-Suwaiyan, governor of the Digital Government Authority, highlighted major improvements made through digitalization as part of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 initiatives aimed at enhancing basic services.  

He underscored the tangible benefits of increased productivity and decreased expenses for governments, citizens, and businesses. 

“In Saudi Arabia, as part of the various programs and objectives of Vision 2030 for basic services, whether it is the issuance or renewal of national IDs, driving licenses, or even passports, before digitalization, it took more than four hours, including the waiting time at government departments,” said Al-Suwaiyan. 

Today, he added, it actually takes less than two minutes without the need to visit the government department, requiring only three clicks.  

“This has actually made us save more than 160 million trips and more than SR23 million annually,” said Al-Suwaiyan.   

He emphasized that “this is the value that we are talking about,” highlighting how increasing productivity and reducing costs benefit not only governments but also citizens and enterprises through digitization. 

The governor emphasized how digital transformation has influenced each pillar of the Vision 2030 goals, enabling swift advancements within the Kingdom. 

“I would like to speak about Vision 2030, where digital transformation is a key enabler that we can see cross-cutting all the different sectors and all objectives in the development of Vision 2030. If we talk about a “vibrant society,” we can see a clear link with the participation and engagement for every citizen. And the same goes for a thriving economy,” he said. 

The official further expressed that merely adopting digitization to do so is not the goal. Instead, the authorities’ efforts are simply a “means” to create a more efficient society.  

In the Kingdom’s justice sector, a similar transformation has occurred with the establishment of fully operational virtual courts, where 95 percent of all hearings are conducted online. 

However, the primary focus is not solely on the implementation of virtual courts, but rather on achieving specific outcomes. 

One notable outcome has been the significant reduction in the time taken for case processing, with the average duration decreasing from 217 days to just 30 days, from the opening of the case to the issuance of the resolution. 

This reduction in processing time exemplifies the tangible value derived from digital transformation efforts. 
 

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