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Press Dossier   News Category    Technology    Saudi Arabia’s ICT spending surges 20% to $11bn

Arab News, Wed, May 15, 2024 | Dhu al-Qadah 7, 1445

Saudi Arabia’s ICT spending surges 20% to $11bn

Saudi Arabia: Saudi Arabia has witnessed a 20 percent year-on-year increase in government spending on information and communications technology in 2023, reaching SR41.87 billion ($11.16 billion), according to new data. 

The latest report from the Kingdom’s Digital Government Authority revealed that the increase in spending has contributed to enhancing the efficiency of digital government services and improving the experience of beneficiaries.  

Additionally, this investment has had a positive impact on the digital economy, marking a milestone in the Kingdom’s transformation journey. 

“ICT spending is one of the supporting factors for innovative and flexible solutions that we aspire to provide to all citizens and residents of Saudi Arabia, ensuring the effectiveness of the immense human wealth that populates the country and achieving a high quality of life,” said Faisal bin Ahmed Bakhshwin, deputy minister for digital transformation at the Ministry of Human Resource and Social Development. 

On the other hand, Musaed Al-Otaibi, deputy minister for digital transformation and smart cities at the Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs and Housing, emphasized: “Digital transformation is one of the pillars of our work at the ministry. ICT spending has enabled us to provide mature and high-quality services with added value through innovative models for citizens.” 

Al-Otaibi stated that the ministry continues to strive to improve services and meet the needs of urban residents by providing services that enrich and facilitate their daily lives.  

The deputy minister mentioned the government’s attention and interest in citizens’ feedback, incorporating it into the design of suitable services.  

Al-Otaibi explained that the ministry aims to achieve a “higher quality of life and enhance innovation in service development” by using emerging technologies that reduce service implementation time and increase operational efficiency for the sector. 

The report revealed that government ICT expenditure between 2019 and 2023 totaled an estimated SR120.15 billion, reflecting an overall upward trend. This indicates growth in the field and investment in transformational projects within this vital sector. 

The DGA data revealed that over a five-year period, the health and social development sector accounted for the highest portion of government ICT spend, totaling SR20.14 billion or 17 percent of the total expenditure. 

Moreover, the military came next as the Kingdom’s technology spending in the sector reached SR19.92 billion from 2019 to 2023, accounting for 17 percent of the total expenditure during the period.   

The infrastructure and transportation sector followed, with ICT expenditure totaling SR18.22 billion during the period, reflecting 15 percent of the total amount.  

According to the report, over the past five years, Saudi Arabia has witnessed a significant and sustained increase in expenditure on cloud computing and emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, big data, and the Internet of Things. 

This growth reflects the Kingdom’s aspirations to become a global hub for technological innovation and digital services, as envisioned in the pillars of Vision 2030.

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