Economic impact of Saudi Arabia's leadership
23 June 2012 Last updated at 11:26 BST
King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia has appointed his half-brother Prince Salman as the new heir to the throne, following the death of Crown Prince Nayef last weekend. He is the second Crown Prince to die in less than a year.
With Saudi being the world's biggest oil exporter and the Gulf's largest economy, the focus is now on 76-year-old Prince Salman.
Just how important is the kingdom's leadership to the region's economic prosperity?
Katy Watson reports.