LEAP 2024 Investments Reach Record US$11.9 Billion For New Technologies, Cloud Computing And Data Centres

LEAP 2024 Investments Reach Record US$11.9 Billion For New Technologies, Cloud Computing And Data Centres

LEAP 2024, the world’s most attended global technology conference, unveiled a massive US$11.9 billion in new investments to support deep and emerging technologies, innovation, and cloud computing in Saudi Arabia and worldwide.

The investments further consolidate the Kingdom’s position as the largest market and digital economy in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) for leading technology companies, such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), IBM, DataVolt and ServiceNow. The investments will also go to developing Saudi digital skills and supporting tech start-ups.

H.E. Eng. Abdullah Alswaha, the Saudi Minister of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT), announced the record value of investments on the opening day of LEAP 2024’s four-day run at Riyadh Exhibition & Convention Centre in Malham. The event ends on March 7, with expectations the third annual instalment will surpass its own record attendance of 172,000 visitors, set in 2023.

Minister Alswaha also highlighted the unwavering support that HRH Crown Prince and Prime Minister Mohammed bin Salman has provided for the Saudi and global tech sectors and for the growth and prosperity of the digital economy, as part of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030. The investments are part of the Crown Prince’s empowerment of Saudi’s burgeoning technology sector amid unprecedented growth in the country’s digital economy, Generative AI, biological and healthtech, quantitative science, space, satellites, fintech, and open sources.

LEAP 2024 Record Investments
On the first day of LEAP 2024, AWS announced a US$5.3 billion investment in a new cloud zone in Saudi Arabia. Datavolt also announced a US$5 billion investment for new data centres in the Kingdom with a capacity of more than 300 megawatts.

IBM plans to invest US$250 million for a global software development centre in the Kingdom, while ServiceNow will invest US$500 million to localise its regional services in Saudi Arabia with training and development programmes to upskill and train Saudi talent.

Dell Technologies will open a manufacturing and fulfilment centre in Saudi Arabia – the first of its kind in the MENAT region, while Aramco announced the establishment of the Saudi Accelerator Innovation Lab (SAIL). Aramco and MCIT co-founded SAIL to strengthen Saudi Arabia’s digital capabilities, and to launch the “Metabrain” GenAI model, as well as announcing “Aramco LLM”, the world’s first industrial grade GenAI.

Finally, Datadog Academy will establish its first cloud application security solutions academy in the Kingdom, Uipath announced the establishment of its first regional automation academy to train, upskill, and foster Saudi talent, and Zoho Corp announced the opening of its first two Middle East data centres in Saudi Arabia to further reinforce the Kingdom’s position as thriving digital hub.

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