According to a government minister, Microsoft and Oracle Corp, which are developing cloud regions in the kingdom, have invested more than $9 billion in future technologies in Saudi Arabia. Microsoft will invest $2.1 billion in a global super-scaler cloud, according to Saudi Arabia’s Abdullah Alswaha, Minister of Communication and Information Technology. Oracle has committed $1.5 billion to construct a new cloud area in Riyadh.
At LEAP, an international technology summit in Riyadh, Alswaha stated, “The investments… will enhance the kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s position as the largest digital market in the Middle East and North Africa.”
Alswaha omitted to provide specific time information. According to Oracle, the investment would be spread over several years. Saudi officials have pushed foreign businesses to invest in the country to take advantage of government contracts and relocate their regional offices to Riyadh. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the kingdom’s de facto ruler, has been pouring hundreds of billions of dollars into an economic strategy known as Vision 2030. But one of the pillars of Vision 2030, which seeks to diversify the economy away from oil, has needed help luring foreign direct investment (FDI).
According to the minister, Chinese company Huawei would collaborate with oil tycoon Aramco to invest $400 million in cloud infrastructure for its services in Saudi Arabia.
At the meeting, an additional $4.5 billion was invested in national and international assets across several sectors, according to Alswaha. Tonomus, a division of the crown prince’s $500 billion NEOM initiative, announced last year that it would invest $1 billion in AI by 2022, including a metaverse platform.
The conference at Saudi Arabia is organized by Saudi Federation
Technology firms, including Oracle, Microsoft, Amazon, and Alphabet’s Google, have set up data centres worldwide to speed up data transit in response to the rising demand for cloud computing.
The second LEAP technology conference, which runs from Monday through Thursday at the Riyadh Front Expo Center, will feature more than 700 top specialists in technology investment from 50 different nations.
The Saudi Federation for Cybersecurity, Programming, and Drones, the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, and the UAE-based IT services and consulting firm Tahaluf are all organising the conference.
It seeks to ignite dialogues on artificial intelligence, the digital transition, and breakthroughs in technical and innovative entrepreneurship through immersive learning, narrative sessions, and lectures.
During the conference, executives from well-known companies like Saudi Aramco, NEOM, Microsoft, Oracle, Huawei, Zoom, Ericsson, and Hewlett Packard Enterprise are scheduled to give speeches.