He has been behind a raft of ambitious new reforms in the Kingdom, such as lifting a long-standing ban on public cinemas, and the historic royal decree allowing women to soon drive.
The 32-year-old son of the current monarch, who was named Crown Prince in June 2017, has been named as one of Forbes Magazine‘s most powerful people in the world this year. The royal came in at No 8 on the publication’s list, and was the youngest figure acknowledged in the entire 75-person-strong shortlist.
The Crown Prince ranked ahead of world figures such as French President Emmanuel Macron, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg.
By recognizing 75 people out of the 7.5 billion humans on the planet, the Forbes chart “identifies one person out of every 100 million whose actions mean the most”, the publication states.
“This year’s list comes at a time of rapid and profound change, and represents our best guess about who will matter in the year to come.”
It was a first-time entry into the annual rankings for Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who has revealed ambitious goals for modernizing the Kingdom in his Vision 2030 plan. The economic blueprint hopes to move Saudi Arabia away from a reliance on oil, and towards a more tourist-friendly future.
Under Vision 2030, the Kingdom aims to increase the percentage of women in the nation’s workforce from 22% to 30%. King Salman also issued a decree allowing women to lawfully gain driving licenses from June 24 as part of the plan, and, as of this year, females have also been allowed to attend sporting matches in select stadiums.
In line with his plans to modernize the Gulf country and ease restrictions on women residing in the kingdom, the Crown Prince also declared that women in Saudi Arabia no longer need to wear an abaya as long as their attire is “decent and respectful” in a wide-ranging interview with 60 Minutes.