Oceanix CEO Deems Saudi Arabia Perfect for Future Floating Cities
Mokshita P.
10x Industry

Oceanix CEO Deems Saudi Arabia Perfect for Future Floating Cities

Amid LEAP 2024, the UK and Saudi Arabia announce a research collaboration, focusing on deep science and tech breakthroughs. The deal aims to address global challenges, from food security to clean energy, marking the partnership for both nations in science and innovation.

LEAP 2024, the world's most attended technology exhibition, made headlines with an announcement of over USD$11.9 billion in investments on Monday. The exhibition, continued to unveil a series of investments totalling more than US$888 million on subsequent days.

The investments at LEAP 2024 aim to support local start-up ecosystems across various industries, including digital payments, Egaming, and Artificial Intelligence. Notable investments include Investcorp's launch of a US$500 million growth stage fund, Oasis Capital's Fund II with US$100 million capital, and the establishment of the US$40 million Gaming and Esports Investment Fund by the National Development Fund and the Social Development Bank, managed by Impact46. Merak Capital also stepped in with an US$80 million fund to support gaming accelerators in Saudi Arabia.

Several other entities joined the investment wave, with Takamol Holdings launching a US$50 million investment arm for early-stage tech companies, Plug and Play introducing its first fund for technology startups, and X by Unifonic unveiling its first investment fund supporting business software services for startups.

The CEO of Tahaluf, Michael Champion, emphasised the growing momentum, stating, "With on-show investments now approaching US$13 billion, today’s announcements and LEAP’s robust content schedule underscore the event’s unlimited potential to convene, leverage, accelerate, and inspire Saudi Arabia’s unique and dynamic technology sector."

In addition to the investment flurry, technology giant Zoom revealed plans to expand its presence in Saudi Arabia. Zoom AI Companion is set to be available for Kingdom-based customers by the end of July 2024, Zoom Phone by October 2024, and Zoom Contact Centre by the end of the year. Founder and CEO Eric Yuan shared his vision for the future, foreseeing the integration of AI into Zoom products, with the potential for 'Digital Twins' to conduct meetings on behalf of users.

Furthermore, a landmark research deal was announced between the UK and Saudi Arabia to boost research links and collaborate on deep science and tech breakthroughs. The agreement, signed at LEAP 2024, aims to address global challenges, from food security to clean energy.

The Creative Economy and Gaming Orbital Stage at LEAP featured META's Head of Global Partnerships, Moon Baz, discussing the impact of AI on content creation. Baz highlighted the rise of individual creators and the integration of AI, AR, VR, and visual arts in storytelling. He also mentioned the emergence of AI influencers and predicted that by 2030, a major blockbuster movie would be released with 90 percent of the film generated by AI.

LEAP 2024's Space-themed Orbital Talks Stage provided insights into Saudi Arabia's plans in space exploration. The Saudi Space Agency outlined its vision, including signing the Artemis Accords and aiming for a permanent presence on the Moon, with eventual plans for Mars. Astronaut Rayyanah Barnawi emphasised the spin-off technologies from space development benefiting wider society.

On the 4IR Stage, Neura Robotics CEO David Reger discussed the future of cognitive robots. Reger highlighted the importance of robots and AI enabling humans to focus on tasks they want to do while delegating mundane tasks to robots.

The Future Energy & Smart Cities Orbital Talks Stage featured Itai Madamombe, Founder and CEO of Oceanix, discussing why Saudi Arabia is a perfect destination for floating cities. Madamombe explained the potential of Oceanix's sustainable floating platforms and their ability to address challenges posed by climate change and urbanisation.

LEAP 2024 showcased the growth and innovation within Saudi Arabia's technology sector, solidifying its position as a global hub for technological advancements and investments.