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RIYADH: Saudi Arabia is hosting the third edition of LEAP — the Kingdom’s premier tech-focused conference and exhibition — under the theme “New Worlds,” at the Riyadh Exhibition and Convention Center, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

The event, which takes place from March 4-7, is being organized by the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, the Saudi Federation for Cybersecurity, Programming and Drones, and Tahaluf.

The edition next month will feature more than 1,000 international and local companies in the technology sector. In excess of 1,000 expert speakers from 180 countries will discuss the future of technology, and artificial intelligence, while showcasing the latest innovations.

DeepFest is returning this year in partnership with the Saudi Authority for Data and Artificial Intelligence, along with a wide range of specialized platforms and theaters that offer training courses and innovation sessions, with the participation of global startups and leading tech companies involved in AI.

LEAP24 focuses on technology, AI, sustainability, gaming, space, cybersecurity, and digital twins, with the presence of prominent speakers and experts, including from the UN, and the Stanford Institute for Human-Centered AI, and CEOs and officials from Byju’s, Bolt, Nokia, Ericsson, IBM, The Lego Group, Schneider Electric, the New York Academy of Sciences, and eBay.

Saudi Minister of Communications and Information Technology Abdullah Al-Swaha said that the event will help strengthen Saudi Arabia’s position as a hub for innovation and technology and attract investment to the region.

He added that the support of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for technology had contributed to the Kingdom’s leadership in the growth of the digital economy in the region.

He added that the total venture capital investments in 2023 placed the Kingdom as the largest country in the region to obtain investments exceeding a threshold of $1.3 billion, accounting for more than half of the investments achieved in the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) region.

The Kingdom is now the largest hub for digital talent and capabilities, boasting more than 354,000 young men and women, and has a qualitative growth in women’s empowerment in the sector that has now reached 35 percent, exceeding the average of the EU, the G20 and Silicon Valley.

Faisal Al-Khamisi, the chairman of the SAFCSP, said: “Our goal is to present a remarkable edition this year, particularly since we concluded last year’s LEAP edition with investments and launches that exceeded $9 billion. With a presence of over 172,000 visitors, LEAP confirms itself as the largest of its kind in the world.”

Tahaluf’s CEO Michael Champion said: “With a laser focus on AI, its myriad applications, and transformative advancements, LEAP 2024 is a continuation that will catapult the global tech industry into an elevated realm.”

LEAP represents an influential platform for investors, startups, experts, and enthusiasts. The conference attracts technology companies and encourages investments, serving as an important axis in the digital transformation process both locally and globally.

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