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LEAP23 fast-tracks Saudi Arabia’s 2030 Vision with record-breaking visits

Saudi Arabia's goal to position itself as the largest digital market in the Middle East and North Africa gains shape as the recently concluded LEAP23 conference rewrites history books once more by becoming the world's most attended tech event with 300 000-plus visitor registration from more than 100 countries.

LEAP23 is rapidly evolving into an unstoppable global tech movement, with the annual technology event attracting more than 3000 visitors visitor registration from more than 100 countries, this despite being only in its second year of existence.

The event began on Monday in Riyadh with the announcement that the oil producing nation is now moving closer to being the largest digital market not only in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA); all thanks to a record-breaking attendance of 172 000-plus in person visits upon opening.

The four-day conference was hosted under the umbrella theme of ‘Into New Worlds’,

Furthermore, the second edition welcomed a high-profile faculty of more than 1000 global investors, as well as sporting heroes and musician-turned financiers, who had gathered across the various stages housing 15 conferences to unpack steps to unleash the full potential of the 4th industrial revolution technology (4IR) among other key topics.

“There has never been an event that has gained such rapid traction among businesses, governments, sponsors, and tech luminaries,” Michael Champion, regional EVP, MEA at Informa Markets was quoted as saying – in various media outlets – adding: “Tech players now view LEAP as an unmissable event and Saudi Arabia as a catalyst for an entirely new world of opportunities.”

After two game changing showings, organisers of Saudi Arabia’s LEAP also revealed that next year’s edition, which will run from March 4 to 7, will move to a new home to ensure the pioneering platform continues to accelerate the Kingdom’s digital transformation.

More than 1000 global investors gathered across the various stages housing 15 conferences.

“LEAP24 will transition to a 120,000 square metre capacity venue next year, enabling the third event to double in floor size and cater for even more innovative future technologies, digital entrepreneurs, tech startups, and high-profile guest speakers,” an official statement sent to NOWinSA reads in part.

The next event, will be powered, per tradition, by Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) in conjunction with Tahaluf, a UAE-based IT services and consulting firm.

LEAP’s expanded new venue will further enhance the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s position as the largest digital market in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).

Saudi Arabia’s LEAP23 highlights

Drawing an international line-up of the biggest names in the tech business, including Google Cloud, Alibaba cloud, Nokia, SAP, Microsoft, Huawei, Cisco, and IBM, the four-day conference was hosted, till Thursday (February 9), under the umbrella theme of ‘Into New Worlds’.

Musical icon-turned futurist and founder of FYI, was one of more than 700 speakers at LEAP23. is also a founding equity stakeholder in Beats Electronics, which was eventually purchased by Apple in 2014 for $3 billion. 

A high level panel of thought leaders emphasised the importance of partnership between the public and private sectors, and the role of SMEs and start-ups as engines of innovation, as well as the contribution of women in science, technology, and knowledge and data exchange

These are some of the areas the Kingdom is intensifying since the unveiling of Vision 2030 in 2016 by the then Deputy Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salma; the aim of which is to launch Saudi Arabi as a global logistic hub for supply chain for the three continent, by leveraging technologies of the future in promising sectors.

Other major announcements on the first day of the tech conference included Meta launching the opening of the first Metaverse Academy in MENA, with first activities starting in the first half of 2023, as well as WEO Technology and Camel Lab launching a new multi-content social media app called, Hektar.

Another important highlight was the collaboration between MENA Communication and STC launching a new app for instant messaging, high-quality voice and video calls known as, Beem.

Coming in handy to offset the devastating COVID-19 aftermath, tech innovations such as these, will most importantly help boost Saudi Arabia’s envisaged ranking as one of the best 10 countries around the world in the logistic performance index by 2030.

Global estimates indicate that the logistics industry in Saudi Arabia is currently valued at $18 billion market value (report), with the UAE sector expected to generate over $30bn by 2025, according to Ken Research.

Tankiso Komane
Tankiso Komane
A Tshwane University of Technology journalism graduate, Tankiso Komane has a vast experience in print & broadcast media business and has worked for some of the country’s biggest daily newspapers, including The Sowetan, The Citizen, The Times, and The New Age. Through her varied work as a journalist, notably as a copywriter for SABC1 (On-Air promotions) and as a publicist for Onyx Communications, she has developed an in-depth understanding of the nature of the media business and how to use it for the purpose of exposure. Her expertise in journalism across various disciplines, coupled with a good reputation, has laid the foundation of a new kind "trust in Journalism" as the media ecosystem continues to digitally evolve.
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