LEAP 2024 Kicks Off with USD11.9bn Tech Investment Surge in Saudi Arabia

LEAP 2024 Kicks Off with USD11.9bn Tech Investment Surge in Saudi Arabia
  • LEAP 2024 kicks off with an astounding $11.9 billion tech investment surge in Saudi Arabia, demonstrating global tech giants’ commitment to the kingdom’s digital advancement.
  • Major players like AWS, IBM, DataVolt, and ServiceNow participate, signaling Saudi Arabia’s significance as a digital powerhouse in the MENA region.
  • Investments announced include AWS’s $5.3 billion for a new cloud zone, DataVolt’s $5 billion for data center construction, and ServiceNow’s $500 million for regional services localization, among others, showcasing a diverse range of initiatives aimed at fostering Saudi Arabia’s tech sector growth.

The inaugural day of LEAP 2024 has witnessed a remarkable commitment from leading global tech giants, pledging a staggering $11.9 billion investment in Saudi Arabia, according to media reports. 

These substantial investments aim to fortify established and emerging technologies, foster innovation, and propel cloud computing advancements within and beyond the kingdom.

A portion of these investments will be directed toward fostering digital skills among Saudis and nurturing the growth of tech startups.

Significant investments unveiled on the inaugural day of LEAP 2024 include AWS’s $5.3 billion commitment to establish a new cloud zone in Saudi Arabia and DataVolt’s pledge of $5 billion for the construction of new data centers in the kingdom. IBM intends to inject $250 million into establishing a global software development center, while ServiceNow vows to invest $500 million to localize its regional services in Saudi Arabia, encompassing training and development initiatives for Saudi talent, according to GulfBusiness.

This announcement reaffirms Saudi Arabia’s prominent position as a digital powerhouse in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, enticing major technology players such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), IBM, DataVolt, and ServiceNow to contribute significantly.

Spanning four days, LEAP 2024 is anticipated to surpass its previous attendance record of 172,000 visitors set in 2023, with the event concluding on March 7.

These investments epitomize a crucial facet of the Prince’s dedication to empowering Saudi Arabia’s burgeoning technology sector amidst significant advancements in various digital domains. 

Dell Technologies is poised to inaugurate a manufacturing and fulfillment center in Saudi Arabia, marking a significant milestone for the MENAT region. Aramco announced the establishment of the Saudi Accelerator Innovation Lab (SAIL) in collaboration with MCIT, aimed at enhancing Saudi Arabia’s digital capabilities.

Other notable initiatives include the introduction of the “Metabrain” GenAI model and “Aramco LLM,” the world’s first industrial-grade GenAI. 

Furthermore, Datadog Academy will establish its inaugural cloud application security solutions academy in Saudi Arabia, while UiPath and Zoho Corp announced plans to establish their first regional automation academy and data centers in the Kingdom, bolstering Saudi Arabia’s stature as a thriving digital hub.

If you see something out of place or would like to contribute to this story, check out our Ethics and Policy section.