Riyadh unveils $100bn tech hub

20 February 2024
Inaugural partners include the US’ Carrier, Japan’s Softbank and China’s Dahua

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Saudi sovereign vehicle, the Public Investment Fund (PIF), has unveiled its $100bn capital-backed company, Alat, at an event in Riyadh on 20 February.

Announced on 1 February by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, Alat aims to transform Saudi Arabia into a global hub for electronics and advanced industries. 

The new company aims to create 39,000 direct jobs and achieve a direct non-oil GDP contribution of $9.3bn in Saudi Arabia by 2030.

“This is just the beginning,” said Amit Midha, global CEO of Alat and former Dell Technologies president in Asia Pacific and Japan.

Midha underscored the “power of harnessing the forces created by artificial intelligence, sustainability, innovation and supply chain resilience, which will enable Alat to leapfrog and re-imagine”.

“Sustainability will be at the core of everything we do,” Midha said, citing Saudi Arabia’s goal to generate half of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030.

The company’s inaugural partners include:

  • Carrier (US) – inaugural partner to create smart building research and development centre for intelligent climate solutions
  • Tahakom (local) – surveillance and transport mobility
  • Softbank Group (Japan) – factory to build next-generation robots; plant will open in December 2024
  • Dahua (China) – surveillance products for intelligent city and buildings

“We [will] have shipped our first made-in-Saudi Arabia robot by the end of 2024,” Midha said.

Alat will have seven business units focusing on semiconductors, AI, next-generation infrastructure and smart appliances, and smart buildings, among others.

According to the PIF, Alat will manufacture more than 30 product categories, including robotic systems, communication systems, advanced computers and digital entertainment products, as well as advanced heavy machinery used in construction, building and mining.

The company aims to “strengthen innovation, manufacturing and research and development, and localise expertise in the industrial and electronics sectors by developing local talent and enhancing job opportunities”.

Alat is expected to focus on providing sustainable manufacturing solutions for international companies by accessing clean energy resources in Saudi Arabia to reach carbon-neutral goals by 2060, while PIF’s own goal is to be carbon-neutral by 2050.

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