Saudi Arabia unveils new initiatives to build hyper-scale data centers

By Arya M Nair, Intern Reporter
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Data Center
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Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) has launched four new cooperative initiatives to build and develop hyper-scale data centers across the Kingdom.

The announcement is part of the Ministry’s Saudi Vision 2030 multi-phase plan to transform the Kingdom from a factor-based to an innovation-driven digital economy by leveraging eco-friendly and renewable energy generation projects that are currently underway across the kingdom.

This transformation is enabled by the development of hyper-scale data centers, which are considered necessary to accelerate digital transformation, increase adoption of emerging technologies, increase digital investments, and propel Saudi Arabia’s emergence as a leading cloud services hub.

The Ministry worked closely with a group of local and international companies to structure the right business principles for the buildout and operation, in line with the ambition of this multi-phased plan to accelerate the development of hyper-scale data centers. The estimated capacity will be 1300 Megawatts and will leverage sustainable renewable energy generation and an expected investment of around $18 billion.

The four new initiatives are structured in cooperation with Malaz Financial Company, Dawiyat Integrated Telecommunications and Information Technology Company, Quantum Switch Tamasuk and Alfanar Group, and follow an earlier announcement made by the Ministry and bring the total number of companies adopting the business principles up to seven.

Bassam Al Bassam
Bassam Al Bassam
Deputy Minister of Infrastructure
Saudi Arabia

“This is a foundational component for digital services and enables video game publishers, e-sports tournament organizers, online broadcasters, content service operators and other digital platforms to localize their services in Saudi Arabia. The Kingdom is rapidly progressing towards consolidating its position as a leading digital hub in the region by partnering with companies that can accelerate the pace of economic growth and ensure readiness to digitally empower this ambitious nation.”

The government launched a nationwide plan to connect 3.5 million households via fiber to the home (FTTH), covered 70 percent of rural households in remote areas with wireless broadband networks, and built the first neutral Internet Exchange Point in Saudi Arabia (SAIX). 

The Kingdom is home to three of the region’s largest telecom providers and is the Middle East and North Africa’s (MENA) largest ICT and emerging technology market, with a value exceeding $35 billion as of 2020.

Related: Dubai-based automotive data platform AlgoDriven raises $2mn in Series A funding


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