Despite lingering scepticism from some corners, the international financial sector seems to be fully buying into Saudi Arabia’s sweeping new plans for economic diversification. Investment banks including HSBC, JP Morgan, and most recently Citigroup are lining up to offer Riyadh the international financial sector’s assistance, with the banks competing heatedly with each other for lucrative advisory and consulting roles. This newfound optimism might be stoked by the widespread support for the reforms, collectively known as Saudi Vision 2030, among young denizens of the Kingdom. At over 60% of the population, the support of Saudis under the age of 35 is critical to the plan’s success. While the government appears to enjoy public support for its programme of wholesale economic transformation, deeper questions remain. Outside analysts and economists have questioned the technical proficiency present in the Kingdom, while also pointing out a pressing need for foreign investment in a period of low energy prices. Of course, Saudi economic policy is being actively reworked to encourage and facilitate investment inflows and outside partnerships. Saudi women, businessmen, retirees (and soon-to-be retirees) and foreign labourers, meanwhile, are waiting to see what the government’s ambitious changes will mean for them. The outside consultants who provided the bulk of the ideas behind the transition have to address the needs and concerns of more marginalised groups as well. After all, building a viable, diversified economy means the overhaul cannot be limited to young, educated, upper-middle class Saudi males. Officials argue the benefits of the changes will be enough to offset whatever problems lifting subsidies and opening the country to direct foreign investment may pose. Young Saudis, who have come of age in the Dubai and Doha era, have long compared their circumstances and lifestyle to those of neighbouring Gulf cities; they yearn to see the Kingdom become more competitive within the global community. In this sense, Vision 2030 has become a new lifeline of hope, and the most vocal of these Saudi youth welcome any and all of its initiatives with open arms. For the planners behind the transition, that youth support is clearly key. Young Saudi social media personalities were featured at the unveiling, while others have been recruited or approached to join the “transition team” and other state-linked companies. It has almost become a source of pride (and an outstanding salary) for young, foreign-educated Saudi men to involve themselves with the transition in some form. While the presence of these young Saudis provides the transition a certain level of credibility and legitimacy, they have also spent significant portions of their adult lives away from both Saudi Arabia and its socioeconomic and socio-political realities. Whether the Kingdom meets its new goals depends in large part on whether the reform programmes address local concerns and correctly diagnose wider problems. Protests by some of the 69,000 foreign labourers laid off by the Saudi Bin Laden group offer a critical reminder that restructuring state subsidies and monopolies must also take into account the struggles of the foreign workers.