LEAP 2023 In Riyadh Sees US$9 Billion Worth Of Investments Made In Saudi Arabia's Tech Sector

By Staff Writer, 07 February 2023
HE Eng. Abdullah bin Amer Alswaha, the Minister of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT)

The huge investment packages are said to come with the full support of Saudi Arabia Crown Prince HRH Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, who remains committed to accelerating tech developments in Saudi Arabia.

More than US$9 billion will be invested to enhance Saudi Arabia's position as the largest digital market in the MENA region, it was announced at the launch of the second edition of LEAP, which is running at the Riyadh Front Exhibition and Conference Centre from February 6-9, 2023.

The investments were revealed by H.E. Eng. Abdullah Alswaha, Saudi Arabia's Minister of Communications and Information Technology, with it including Microsoft's $2.1 billion to establish in a global super-scaler cloud in the Kingdom, Oracle's $1.5 billion to expand its MENA business by launching new cloud areas in KSA, Huawei's $400 million in cloud infrastructure for its services in the Kingdom, as well as the launch of a Zoom cloud area in the Kingdom, in partnership with Aramco. An additional $4.5 billion has also been invested in global and local assets across multiple sectors at the event.

H.E. Alswaha emphasized that the huge investment packages come with the full support of Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince HRH Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, who remains committed to accelerating developments that will help the Kingdom achieve the objectives of Vision 2030 by leveraging technologies of the future in promising sectors. H.E Alswaha also confirmed plans to strengthen the outcomes of LEAP 2023 in diversifying the economy, localizing technology, and advancing industries.

Other major announcements on the first day of LEAP 2023 included Meta announcing the opening of the first Metaverse Academy in the MENA in Saudi Arabia, the launches of multi-content social media app Hektar by WEO Technology and Camel Lab, as well as of Beem, a new application for instant messaging, high-quality voice and video calls, and business features developed by MENA Communication and STC.

An annual event that brings together the world's most important tech experts, LEAP is expected to attract more than 250,000 visitors from around the world this year. The conference's second edition is happening as the Kingdom continues its leadership as the MENA region's largest digital market with more than $42 billion in active investments. Indeed, across Saudi Arabia, more than 340,000 people currently work in the digital, telecommunications, and information technology sectors.