chapter  3
Current sectoral maritime policy in Saudi Arabia
Pages 31

Introduction An account of Saudi Arabia’s current maritime policy is essential in order to understand the factors that stand in the way of introducing an INMP to the country. The first step in this account is to explain the constitutional and institutional structure of decision-making that manages maritime issues in the country. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (see Figure 3.1) is one of the last true kingdoms in existence, and perhaps the most important in terms of its economic significance and its role in world affairs (Glick 1980). Moreover, unlike most countries, Saudi Arabia is a theocracy, in which the Qur’an and the Prophet’s Sunnah is the true source of Saudi law. In the eyes of many observers, the country has managed to strike a balance between the religious demands for traditional adherence to monarchical and Islamic principles and the economic demands for survival and growth in modern society. The main objective of this chapter is to account for the current maritime policy in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia by an explanation of its basic system of government including the executive power process, and an outline of the institutional and regulatory arrangements presently in place to govern its maritime activities.