By the end of 2022, the Middle East market had received significant spending from Saudi Arabia and the UAE. The Saudi Arabia ICT market reached a total value of $33.43 billion in 2022 and was anticipated to increase by 5.6% this year. Countries around the Middle East are embracing digital transformation and innovative technologies to promote regional growth.
In this article, we will address the emerging technology trends in Saudi Arabia. You will also learn about the various government initiatives, regulations, and upcoming projects contributing to digital transformation in Saudi Arabia.
5 Digital Technologies in Saudi Arabia 2023
- Artificial Intelligence: According to PWC, Saudi Arabia is expected to receive $135 billion in revenue from artificial intelligence by 2030. The report noted that Saudi Arabia is on its way to becoming the biggest beneficiary of AI in the region. The Saudi Arabian government has been highly encouraging AI adoption, which is now primarily funded by domestic sources, particularly the country’s sovereign wealth fund. The most recent market data shows that affluent oil-producing Gulf states like the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar are now investing as much, if not more, in domestic AI technology advancement as certain individual European nations.
- Cloud Technology: A “cloud-first policy” was unveiled in 2019 by Saudi’s Ministry of Communications and Information Technology to serve as a roadmap for public and private sector organizations undergoing a cloud-led transformation. According to experts, the Saudi government’s objective of implementing a cloud-first strategy will make it easier for users to access international cloud service providers, which will draw investments, provide clear data rules, encourage innovation, drive agility, and scale up growth.
- 5G : According to the most recent industry research, Saudi Arabia’s efforts to build out 5G infrastructure are helping it rank higher in the Gulf Cooperation Council region in terms of attaining strong growth in speed, video experience, and network availability.
Saudi Arabia is showing quick development in the 5G market as it works with private enterprises to further develop its digital infrastructure. In order to enhance the 5G experience, the Kingdom is also embracing cutting-edge technology.
- Blockchain: Blockchain technology is gaining popularity in Saudi Arabia as a safe and open data sharing and storage method. The Kingdom’s government is looking into using blockchain to reduce fraud, improve transparency, and expedite procedures. Saudi Arabia is well aware of the potential of blockchain technology, as indicated by the Saudi Central Bank’s involvement in many blockchain projects nationwide. One of the first central banks in the region to test out blockchain technology for money transfers is the Saudi central bank. The Saudi Central Bank has also established many other projects to promote fintech in the Kingdom, such as the Fintech Saudi Initiative in partnership with the Capital Market Authority (CMA), the Saudi Central Bank Regulatory Sandbox, and some online banking and payment options.
In the first two months of 2021, 7 million cyber attacks were directed towards Saudi Arabia. The Kingdom, the greatest information and communication hub in the Middle East, has recently experienced an increase in cyberattacks, particularly as digital devices like smartphones, tablets, and computers have increased.
The establishment of cybersecurity institutes demonstrates the Kingdom’s commitment to reducing the frequency of such attacks on a national and international level and the value of cybersecurity as a societal benefit.