Saudi capital Riyadh is all set to become the Arab world’s first digital capital city.
The announcement was made on Wednesday at the 23rd session of the Council of Arab Ministers of Communications and Information Technology, held at The Ritz-Carlton hotel in the Saudi capital.
The ministers’ decision to bestow the title on Riyadh came as a result of the city’s prominent role in adopting and promoting the use of digital technologies to enhance socio-economic development, advance health care, improve education, and ultimately increase community welfare.
The Kingdom’s information and communications technology (ICT) sector now makes up 4% of the Saudi GDP, and has helped the country not only to climb 16 places in the World Economic Forum’s global competitive index 2019 in terms of ICT adoption but also to gain a top ease-of-doing-business ranking in the World Bank’s 2020 report.
The Arab Digital Capital initiative aims to encourage the creation of a stimulating ecosystem for investment in ICT, activate initiatives to develop knowledge within the ICT industry across Arab countries, and adopt new projects to help grow tech entrepreneurship in the region.
The Kingdom’s ICT sector is the largest in the Arab world and has experienced significant regulatory change, expressed across several public and private sector investment drives since the launch of Vision 2030.