LEAP 2024 Investments Record Impressive $11.9 Billion for Tech and Cloud Computing

LEAP 2024, renowned as the world’s premier global technology conference, made a groundbreaking announcement today, revealing a colossal $11.9 billion injection into deep and emerging technologies, innovation, and cloud computing both in Saudi Arabia and on a global scale.

This substantial investment further solidifies the Kingdom’s status as the largest market and digital economy in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region for leading technology firms like Amazon Web Services (AWS), IBM, DataVolt, and ServiceNow. The funds will also be allocated towards enhancing Saudi Arabia’s digital skills landscape and nurturing burgeoning tech start-ups.

The record-breaking value of investments was unveiled by H.E. Eng. Abdullah Alswaha, the Saudi Minister of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT), during the inaugural day of LEAP 2024’s four-day extravaganza in Riyadh. With the event set to conclude on March 7, there are high expectations that this year’s edition will surpass its own attendance record of 172,000 visitors, set back in 2023.

Minister Alswaha highlighted the steadfast support provided by HRH Crown Prince and Prime Minister Mohammed bin Salman for the Saudi and global tech sectors, emphasizing the pivotal role they play in fostering the growth and prosperity of the digital economy, in line with the ambitious Vision 2030 initiative. These investments represent a crucial component of the Crown Prince’s vision to empower Saudi Arabia’s burgeoning technology sector amidst unprecedented growth across various domains such as Generative AI, biological and health tech, quantitative science, space, satellites, fintech, and open sources.

LEAP 2024 Investment Highlights

On the inaugural day of LEAP 2024, AWS made headlines by announcing a staggering $5.3 billion investment in a new cloud zone in Saudi Arabia. Meanwhile, DataVolt unveiled plans for a $5 billion investment in new data centers within the Kingdom, boasting a capacity of over 300 megawatts.

IBM is set to inject $250 million into establishing a global software development center in Saudi Arabia, while ServiceNow pledged a hefty $500 million to localize its regional services in the country. This investment will also encompass training and development programs aimed at upscaling and nurturing local Saudi talent.

Adding to the roster of significant investments, Dell Technologies announced the launch of a manufacturing and fulfillment center in Saudi Arabia, marking a milestone as the first of its kind in the MENAT region.

Furthermore, Aramco revealed the establishment of the Saudi Accelerator Innovation Lab (SAIL), a joint venture with MCIT aimed at enhancing Saudi Arabia’s digital capabilities. Aramco’s contribution includes the unveiling of the “Metabrain” GenAI model and the introduction of “Aramco LLM,” hailed as the world’s first industrial-grade GenAI.

Lastly, Datadog Academy, Uipath, and Zoho Corp also made noteworthy announcements. Datadog Academy will establish its inaugural cloud application security solutions academy in the Kingdom, while Uipath unveiled plans for its first regional automation academy, dedicated to training and supporting Saudi talent. Zoho Corp announced the opening of its first two Middle East data centers in Saudi Arabia, further cementing the Kingdom’s status as a burgeoning digital hub.

LEAP 2024’s monumental investment push signifies a major moment in Saudi Arabia’s technological evolution, which also promises to propel the Kingdom to even greater heights on the global stage of innovation and digital transformation.

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