Saudi Arabia Surges Ahead: LEAP 2024 Records US$11.9B Tech Boost for Global Dominance
Mokshita P.
10x Industry

Saudi Arabia Surges Ahead: LEAP 2024 Records US$11.9B Tech Boost for Global Dominance

Saudi Arabia solidifies its tech dominance with major investments from global giants like AWS, IBM, and Datavolt, boosting digital skills, supporting startups, and advancing Vision 2030 goals.

LEAP 2024, the world’s premier global technology conference, kicked off its four-day event at the Riyadh Exhibition & Convention Centre, revealing a US$11.9 billion in new investments dedicated to leading Saudi Arabia's tech industry to unprecedented heights.

Announced by H.E. Eng. Abdullah Alswaha, the Saudi Minister of Communications and Information Technology, these investments solidify the Kingdom's standing as the leading market and digital economy in the MENA. The infusion of capital is earmarked for advancing deep and emerging technologies, innovation, and expanding cloud computing infrastructure both locally and globally.

Leading technology giants such as Amazon Web Services, IBM, DataVolt, and ServiceNow will be among the beneficiaries of these investments. AWS, on the inaugural day of LEAP 2024, declared a substantial US$5.3 billion investment to establish a new cloud zone within Saudi Arabia. DataVolt followed suit with a US$5 billion commitment for the construction of new data centre in the Kingdom, boasting a combined capacity exceeding 300 megawatts.

IBM plans to invest US$250 million in establishing a global software development centre, while ServiceNow is allocating US$500 million to localise its regional services in Saudi Arabia, complete with training and development programs designed to enhance the skills of local tech talent.

Dell Technologies is set to open a manufacturing and fulfilment centre in Saudi Arabia, marking a milestone as the first of its kind in the MENAT region. Concurrently, Aramco announced the establishment of the Saudi Accelerator Innovation Lab, a collaborative effort with MCIT, aiming for the Kingdom's digital capabilities. Furthermore, Aramco introduced the "Metabrain" GenAI model and unveiled "Aramco LLM," the world’s first industrial-grade GenAI.

Datadog Academy also joined the wave of investment by confirming the establishment of its inaugural cloud application security solutions academy in the Kingdom. Uipath followed suit by declaring the establishment of its first regional automation academy, focusing on training and upskilling Saudi talent. Zoho Corp rounded off the announcements by disclosing the opening of its first two Middle East data centres in Saudi Arabia, further cementing the Kingdom's status as a thriving digital hub.

Minister Alswaha underscored the support provided by HRH Crown Prince and Prime Minister Mohammed bin Salman for Saudi Arabia's tech sectors. These investments align with the ambitious Vision 2030, showcasing the Crown Prince's commitment to empowering the burgeoning technology sector amidst unprecedented growth in digital economy segments, including Generative AI, biological and health tech, quantitative science, space, satellites, fintech, and open sources.

LEAP 2024 anticipates breaking its own record attendance, set at 172,000 visitors in 2023, by the time the event concludes on March 7. The investments unveiled promise to upgrade the landscape of Saudi Arabia's tech industry, innovation, skill development, and the continued expansion of digital infrastructure.