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Private investors to finance Saudi Arabia’s $18bn hyperscale data centre construction frenzy

The Kingdom’s ICT and emerging technology economy was valued at $35 billion in 2020, a value Riyadh wants to magnify with large scale investments.

By João Marques Lima

Co-founder and Editor, The Tech Capital

2 Mins

July 13, 2021 | 4:12 PM BST

Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) said it plans to build as much as US$18 billion worth of hyperscale data centre and renewable energy developments in the coming years.

The ministerial department did not clarify the locations of future builds, limiting itself to add that developments will take place across the Kingdom s part of the Saudi Vision 2030 plan.

It said local and international private investors have already come forward to help finance its plans to make Saudi Arabia a computing powerhouse and the digital hub for the Middle East, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

Gulf Data Hub, Al Moammar Information Systems (MIS), and Saudi FAS Holding Company have been the first names to be revealed as working with the Ministry in its data centre projects.

In total, the government is eyeing an investment that could deliver on more than 1.3 GW of capacity by 2030.

Bassam Al Bassam, Deputy Minister for Telecom and Digital Infrastructure at MCIT, said: “We are enabling local champions to play a bigger role in the coming phase of Saudi Vision 2030, to increase the growth of hyperscale co-location capacity data centres needed to attract other digital investments, such as cloud service providers, gaming publishers, video streaming service operators and content delivery network (CDN) operators to localize their services inside the Kingdom.”

Also commenting, the CEO of Gulf Data Hub, Tarek Al Ashram added that the region is witnessing a rapid demand for video streaming and cloud services.

“Driving this is the consumer demand for electronic and online entertainment, as well as the exponential digital transformation across the public and private sectors,” he said. “It is only natural that cloud service providers and publishers localise and host their operations in the region, and we wish to lend our extensive knowledge in the sector to help build the data centres of tomorrow.”

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Co-founder and Editor, The Tech Capital

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