Saudi Arabia’s Non-Oil Activity Now 50 Percent Of GDP

Non-oil economic activity in Saudi Arabia contributed 50 percent to the Kingdom’s gross domestic product in 2023, the highest level ever, the Ministry of Economy and Planning said on Thursday.

The total non-oil economy was worth $453 billion at constant prices, driven by continued growth in investment, consumption and exports.

There was an unprecedented performance in non-governmental investments over the past two years, with a growth rate of 57 percent, bringing their value in 2023 to a historically high level of $255 billion.

Arts and entertainment led the growth in non-oil activity, more than doubling in value in 2021-2022. Other activities such as accommodation, food, transport and storage services recorded strong growth rates of 77 percent and 29 percent respectively.

The growth in non-oil activities during 2023 was exceptional in terms of the diversity of contribution and growth momentum. Social services such as health and education recorded growth of 10.8 percent, followed by transport and communications at 3.7 percent, and trade, restaurants and hotels at 7 percent.

Real service exports represented by tourist spending recorded historic growth rates of 319 percent over the past two years, reflecting the clear impact of the Kingdom’s transformation into a global destination for tourism and entertainment and advancing the process of economic diversification.

An increase in non-oil economic activity as a proportion of total GDP is a key goal of Saudi Vision 2030, which aims to achieve a prosperous economy by diversifying the engines of growth away from hydrocarbons.