LEAP 2024: $11.9B Invested in Tech, Cloud, Data Centers

News Desk -


In a groundbreaking announcement at LEAP 2024, the world’s premier global technology conference, a staggering sum of US$11.9 billion has been unveiled for investments aimed at bolstering advanced technologies, fostering innovation, and expanding cloud computing infrastructure both within Saudi Arabia and internationally.

These investments serve to solidify Saudi Arabia’s status as the primary market and digital powerhouse in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region for top-tier technology firms like Amazon Web Services (AWS), IBM, DataVolt, and ServiceNow. Additionally, a portion of these funds will be allocated towards nurturing digital skills among Saudis and providing support to burgeoning tech startups.

The revelation of this record investment figure was made by H.E. Eng. Abdullah Alswaha, the Saudi Minister of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT), during the inauguration of LEAP 2024 at the Riyadh Exhibition & Convention Centre in Malham. With the event set to run for four days until March 7, it is anticipated that this year’s attendance will surpass the previous record of 172,000 visitors set in 2023.

Minister Alswaha underscored the steadfast backing provided by HRH Crown Prince and Prime Minister Mohammed bin Salman to both the Saudi and global technology sectors, as well as to the advancement and prosperity of the digital economy, in alignment with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030. These investments represent a vital component of the Crown Prince’s efforts to empower Saudi Arabia’s burgeoning technology sphere amidst unparalleled growth in various digital sectors including Generative AI, biotechnology, health tech, quantitative science, space exploration, satellites, fintech, and open-source initiatives.

Highlights of the Record Investments at LEAP 2024:

– AWS announced a monumental US$5.3 billion investment towards establishing a new cloud zone in Saudi Arabia.

– Datavolt revealed plans for a US$5 billion investment to construct new data centers within the Kingdom, boasting a combined capacity exceeding 300 megawatts.

– IBM intends to inject US$250 million into establishing a global software development center in Saudi Arabia.

– ServiceNow commits to investing US$500 million towards localizing its regional services in Saudi Arabia, along with implementing training and development programs aimed at enhancing the skills of Saudi talent.

– Dell Technologies is set to inaugurate a manufacturing and fulfillment center in Saudi Arabia, the first of its kind in the MENAT region.

– Aramco announced the establishment of the Saudi Accelerator Innovation Lab (SAIL), in collaboration with MCIT, aimed at fortifying Saudi Arabia’s digital capabilities. Additionally, they unveiled the “Metabrain” GenAI model and “Aramco LLM”, the world’s first industrial-grade GenAI.

– Datadog Academy will establish its inaugural cloud application security solutions academy in the Kingdom.

– Uipath will inaugurate its first regional automation academy in Saudi Arabia, focusing on training, upskilling, and fostering local talent.

– Zoho Corp disclosed plans to launch its first two Middle East data centers in Saudi Arabia, further solidifying the Kingdom’s position as a thriving digital hub.

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