The Saudi Arabia Big Data and Artificial Intelligence Market was valued at USD 164.98 million in 2020, and it is expected to reach USD 891.74 million by 2026, registering a CAGR of 32.6%, during the period of 2021-2026. Moreover, the restrictions imposed due to the pandemic have led to innovations like the Tawakkalna app, designed to support government efforts to counter COVID-19. It facilitates the issuance of movement permits electronically during curfews for government and private sector employees. The development of such apps enabled significant data collection mechanisms to be put in place, which later, with the help of machine learning and big data analysis, was analyzed to improve the convenience of citizens.
Saudi Arabia is creating an AI-friendly ecosystem that includes high-speed broadband and 5G deployment, data access, and security. In order to catalyze innovative solutions, it is also supporting early adoption of AI and Big data concepts and solutions through many smart city programs such as NEOM.
The AI Policy is a part of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 Policy, under which the country plans to develop sustainable cities and to ensure the most efficient use of resources in urban planning, infrastructure, and key economic sectors. Further, Saudi Arabia Government aimed to improve government efficiency and automation through AI.
Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 sets specific targets for transforming KSA (Kingdom of Saudi Arabia) cities into smart cities through utilizing municipal data as a national asset to achieve Vision 2030 objectives. For Instance, In November 2020, it launched a multibillion-dollar strategy to become the global leader in artificial intelligence as the Kingdom aspires to diversify its oil-based economy.
Further, in October 2020, The Saudi Data and Artificial Intelligence Authority (SDAIA) and the UN’s International Telecommunication Union (ITU) signed an agreement to support global AI cooperation. Saudi Arabia will assist the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) in developing projects, activities, and initiatives aimed at facilitating greater multi-stakeholder participation, international cooperation, and knowledge sharing in order to accelerate progress toward the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Key Market Trends
Software Segment is Expected to Witness Significant Growth
Saudi Arabia is partnering with leading technology multinationals such as GE, SAP, and Google to develop enhanced capacities. Further, Google aimed to develop five innovation hubs around the country, to train programming skills for advanced software and AI.
As the infrastructure market in Saudi Arabia looms with the launch of mega-smart city NEOM, it will present huge opportunities to AI-related software vendors. The IT integration, data handling and processing, connectivity, and other hosts of services to be met by data and IT integration will be handled by such software.
The construction projects will be a major driver in the implication of AI software in Saudi Arabia, and there are numerous startups in KSA providing their software and apps, especially for Real Estate and Construction sector.
The oil and gas industry of Saudi Arabia is also one of the prominent users of AI-based systems and software. Companies such as Exxon Mobil, Total, and Shell that operate in Saudi Arabia already use AI as a part of their operations for better productivity, transparency, and real-time data availability. The companies are continuously trying to digitalize their operations and mining with the help of AI.
Public and Government Institutions Expected to Witness Significant Growth
Saudi Arabia is expected to be one of the leading countries in the Middle Eastern region in the artificial intelligence and big data market, owing to increasing government investments into new technologies. AI is, therefore, playing a vital role in the future of the country’s automation sector. As per the European Centre for Digital Competitiveness’ Digital Riser 2020 report, Saudi Arabia was regarded as the top digital riser among G20 countries.
The country exhibits readiness toward adopting AI, and the introduction of the Saudi Vision 2030 plan was regarded as a significant progression on the value of data as a public asset. Around 70% of 96 strategic goals under Vision 2030 are related to data and AI.
The growing investment toward smart cities in Saudi Arabia results in massively increasing adoption of AI solutions along with 5G and software, such as predictive analytics. In 2021, Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman announced plans to build The Line, a 105-mile-long belt of hyper-connected communities in the kingdom’s northeast that will feature no cars, no streets, and carbon emissions but will have smart infrastructure costing up to USD 200 billion.
Moreover, the government is currently undertaking significant educational reforms to ensure students acquire the digital knowledge for upcoming jobs in AI and other technologies, such as the blockchain and Internet of Things (IoT). The government is working along with the Ministry of Education to ensure that school and university curricula satisfy future needs in AI, data science, and data security.
Saudi Arabia Big Data and Artificial Intelligence Market is moderately competitive, with a considerable number of regional players. The companies are leveraging strategic collaborative initiatives, acquisitions to increase market share and profitability.
June 2021 - SAP SE launched new software offerings to enhance business processes, leveraging the cloud, data, and artificial intelligence. Deloitte, AWS, and SAP launched an e-commerce program for Saudi Arabia, which also covers several tech-driven topics such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, and data analytics.
May 2021 - IQVIA partnered with Saudi Data and Artificial Intelligence Authority (SDAIA) to collaborate on joint ideas and research in data and artificial intelligence, build a center for innovation and knowledge and develop related training programs in the region. They signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the government agency to explore innovation opportunities in the field of health data in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA).
April 2021 - Microsoft Corp. acquired Nuance Communications Inc., a speech technology company, for USD 19.7 billion in cash, putting a significant investment in artificial intelligence for health care..
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