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Leap 2024: The World’s Most Attended Technical Conference in the Fastest-Growing Country

In an unparalleled demonstration of innovation and economic dynamism, the Leap 2024 conference has emphatically marked Saudi Arabia’s ascendancy on the global technology and investment map. This annual event, now in its third iteration, has transcended expectations by drawing an unprecedented crowd of over 215,000 attendees—a 25% increase from the previous year. The gathering not only showcased cutting-edge technology but also became a crucible for an astounding $11.9 billion in investments, signaling the Kingdom’s burgeoning clout in the tech world.

Saudi Arabia’s strategic pivot towards becoming a nerve center for technology and innovation is a key facet of its ambitious Vision 2030. Spearheaded by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the initiative aims to diversify the economy away from oil by fostering private sector growth and attracting foreign direct investment. The Leap conference is a cornerstone of this vision—a global platform where technology leaders, innovators, and investors converge.

The numbers speak volumes: with contributions from over 1,800 entities and drawing 23% of its attendees from international shores, Leap has positioned itself as a not-to-be-missed event on the tech calendar. The presence of global tech giants such as Amazon, IBM, and Dell, committing billions to establish operations within the Kingdom, underscores Saudi Arabia’s emerging role as a tech powerhouse.

Moreover, the conference has proven to be a boon for Saudi startups, securing over $1.5 billion in investments. This success is a testament to the fertile ecosystem that Saudi Arabia is cultivating for innovation and entrepreneurship, aligning with Vision 2030’s goal of energizing the private sector.

The economic ripple effect of Leap 2024 extends beyond direct investments. It is estimated to have injected approximately $500 million into the local economy, buoying sectors ranging from aviation to hospitality and underlining the multifaceted benefits of hosting such a grand-scale international gathering.

Yet, the impact of Leap goes beyond mere numbers. It stands as a beacon of Saudi Arabia’s commitment to nurturing a knowledge-based economy, drawing in global talent, and promoting cultural diversity. By casting the Kingdom as a dynamic and progressive business hub, the event harmoniously aligns with the overarching aims of Vision 2030, which strives to elevate Saudi Arabia’s profile on the world stage.

As Saudi Arabia continues to host a slew of major international events across various domains, it not only captivates the imagination of investors and innovators but also redefines its identity in the global narrative. The Kingdom’s transformation, powered by events like Leap 2024, is crafting a new narrative of opportunity and innovation in the heart of the Middle East, solidifying its status as a global hub for business, technology, and culture. This is the new Saudi Arabia—a kingdom of opportunities, poised to lead the charge into the future.

Daniah Orkoubi

Deputy Minister for Technology Foresight and Digital Economy Ministry of Communications and Information Technology

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