| 25 September 2022, Sunday |

Technology, Investments Boost Saudi Arabia’s Shift to Digital Economy

LEAP 2022, the global technology platform, uncovered Saudi Arabia’s readiness to address technical solutions and requirements that can address future challenges amid the development of the sector in the Kingdom.

Several international companies asserted to Asharq Al-Awsat the importance of the conference, which revealed the future technologies, stressing that Saudi Arabia is steadily racing to become among the first countries that invest in future technology.

Several businessmen and economists said the conference explored the importance of partnerships between the public and private sectors to accelerate the Saudi drive towards achieving digital transformation.

They also believed that it would enhance the knowledge-based and green economies and develop technology for advanced industries that are possible for clean energy, seeking to achieve zero emissions.

Saudi Arabia is defining technology features in the Middle East through LEAP 2022.


Unifonic CEO Ahmed Hamdan told Asharq Al-Awsat that companies seek such exhibitions to present the public with new solutions, given that the establishments are aware of market developments in the field of technology.

Hamdan indicated that the conference witnessed fantastic technical innovations and presentations, bringing together all local and international companies under one roof.

He revealed that several agreements were concluded between significant companies, highlighting their desire to develop and provide their best.

Through the conference, Unifonic tried to produce and showcase products to the market very quickly, said Hamdan, adding that the company will launch several initiatives.

He noted that the Saudi Ministry of Communications and Information Technology encourages small companies to become large and compete with high technologies.

The CEO added that Saudi Arabia is developing in the sector by adopting technologies and financial support to entrepreneurs.

The Ministry is also directing startups and providing them with appropriate solutions to achieve their desired goals, said the CEO, adding that this will empower startups and grant them a chance to develop in the future.

Supporting inventions

Vice President for Software AG in the Middle East Ahmad Salama explained that LEAP 2022 is a platform for a global vision for the technical community and is compatible with Vision 2030.

Salama indicated that projects, such as NEOM and the Red Sea, aim to achieve a future fueled by inventions, livability and sustainability for a prosperous economy.

He believes that this vision is also founded on a “connected enterprise” philosophy, which is adopted and supported by Software AG to support its progress and achieve transformation goals in Saudi Arabia and the world.

Software AG will continue to share global best practices and innovate new ones as a member of the thriving Saudi digital community, invest in the Kingdom’s economy and its youth, and align with the Vision of mobilizing this technological advancement across the public and private sectors.

Saudi investor Abdullah al-Malehi, and head of Tamayouz, confirmed to Asharq Al-Awsat that the conference provided an opportunity for the business sector in technical industries to cooperate through opportunities that enhance the Saudi goals in cooperation with the public sector.

Malehi indicated that these partnerships are possible for digital transformation and shaping the future of banks in advanced technologies, noting that the local market is significant in advanced technology.

He explained that Saudi Arabia seeks to diversify its oil-dependent economy, noting that the announced investment includes contributions from major Saudi companies.

Gulf countries are working on initiatives to promote non-oil growth, said Malehi, stressing at the same time that the Kingdom will pump hundreds of billions of dollars in economic transformation represented by Vision 2030.

A large number of investments will be injected into the local market.

Artificial superintelligence

SingularityNET CEO Ben Goertzel pointed out that artificial intelligence is still limited, indicating that the development accompanying the digital infrastructure will transform it to Superintelligence.

Speaking at the “Scaling Up Decentralized AI to Power Global Transformation” session, during the third day of LEAP, Goertzel explained that everyone would be able to maximize the use of this technology.

Meanwhile, CEO of RMA Advisory Renato de Castro explained during “Metaverse VR Immersive” that the demand for virtual reality immersive experiences is accelerating, especially as it allows moving with ease.

De Castro explained that the number of Metaverse VR users has grown during the coronavirus pandemic, with over 90 players registering in a short period.

He explained that users spent over $40 million in purchases from this big and exciting market, predicting its volume to reach $100 billion soon.

Digital infrastructure

VMware regional director Saif Mashat said that the company is continuing to achieve its strategies and record-high levels of success in digital infrastructure projects, pointing out that it will expand to new projects in the Saudi market.

He explained that VMware is establishing future projects in line with the significant goals of Vision 2030, which necessitates that everyone unite their efforts and engage in professional cooperation.

The company focuses on training Saudi youth in cooperation with Saudi universities, said Mashat, announcing an agreement with the Prince Sultan University to train young men and girls on many digital skills and qualify faculty members to provide educational programs and content.

He indicated that the company would grant accredited certificates to the trainees.

Mashat also announced the company has several future agreements with some universities and sectors to train and qualify youths on technical programs and skills that the labor market requires.

He revealed plans with various sectors in 2022, namely projects to establish a distinguished digital infrastructure that matches the tremendous digital transformation witnessed by the Kingdom.

  • Asharq Al-Awsat