LEAP23 Opens Today as Icons from Business, Tech, Music, and Sport Gather to Empower Global Economic, Societal Growth

LEAP23 Opens Today as Icons from Business, Tech, Music, and Sport Gather to Empower Global Economic, Societal Growth

  • Running from February 6-9, mega-tech showcase set to drive Saudi Arabia’s change agenda and transform Kingdom into global technology leader

  • From Aramco to Zoom via MasterCard and Snap Inc, wide range of world tech leaders will exhibit, explore, discuss, and debate during four-day Riyadh show

  • John Lee, chief executive of Hong Kong SAR, latest confirmed attendee, joining high-profile list including Will.i.am and Barcelona legend Carles Puyol

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia – February 5, 2023: A slew of billion-dollar investments set to power Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 objectives, empower massive economic and societal change, and transform the Arabian Gulf nation into a global technology leader will take centre-stage at LEAP23 this week, as the world’s most visionary tech event begins a four-day run at Riyadh Front Expo Centre tomorrow, February 6.

Running until February 9, LEAP23 boasts an exhibitor and convention line-up of transformational talent, a product showcase of advanced and generative technology potential, and a celebrity cast of billionaire entrepreneurs, business magnates, sporting heroes, and musical icons turned futurists and financiers. Together, more than 720 speakers from some 50 countries will explore ideas that will change lives, alter work patterns, and unlock unrealised and as-yet unimagined economic potential across 11 conference streams.

Music phenomenon and tech advocate will.i.am joins Spanish FIFA World Cup legend and NFT champion Carles Puyol to combine inspirational insights with thought-leadership debates alongside C-suite executives from some of the biggest names in business, including Aramco, Zoom, Google, Oracle, SAP, and NEOM. Meanwhile, a host of world-renowned entrepreneurs and figureheads from Tim Draper, the billionaire venture capitalist and founder of Draper Associates, to John Lee, the chief executive of Hong Kong SAR, will also be present across the event’s four days.

Having established instant credentials as the world’s most visionary and valuable technology event[MR1]  following its 2022[MR2]  launch event, when more than US$6 billion worth of business deals were signed, LEAP23 is gathering an unprecedented following of tech leaders who acknowledge Saudi Arabia as a potential global rival to Silicon Valley.

MasterCard Venture is one of more than 900 exhibitors with a keen eye on the Kingdom’s turbo-charged Vision 2030 and its futuristic dynamism. Keith Jordan, Mastercard Venture’s Vice President Innovation, said now is an opportune moment to import digital economy and Metaverse breakthroughs into Saudi Arabia. “We are firm believers in the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 and are committed to use the power of advanced technologies to create new priceless experiences for communities, bridging the physical and virtual worlds. We look forward to showcasing the endless possibilities technologies have at LEAP23, shining a light on the growing influence of our leading-edge tech solutions.”

For American camera and social media innovator Snap Inc, Augmented Reality (AR) will hallmark its LEAP23 focus, said Abdulla Alhammadi, the company’s Regional Business Lead for Saudi Arabia. AR’s potential now extends well beyond social media, he added.

“Over the past decade, Snap has emerged as a leader in Augmented Reality, and when we first introduced it, people used it for fun, but today AR has also become important for businesses,” he said. “Snap’s AR technology has evolved rapidly to facilitate virtual try-ons, catalogue browsing, showrooming, and much more, while our AR lenses have come a long way too, to serve our partners and community, introducing new and improved shopping features and capabilities for brands, and experiences for Snapchatters.”

Sweden’s Ericsson believes Saudi’s investment in cellular technology and frontrunner 5G nation mindset are turning the country into “a breeding ground for innovation” in the run-up to its Vision 2030 realisation. Håkan Cervell, Vice President and Head of Customer Unit at Ericsson Middle East & Africa, revealed the existing company will look to nurture partnerships at LEAP23 to help Saudi Arabian businesses towards sustainability.

“Ericsson research shows that ICT solutions can enable a reduction of global carbon emissions by up to 15 per cent by 2030,” Cervell said. “Collaboration is the only way forward to meet sustainability goals across the board.”

More than 100,000 tech innovators and disruptors will be at LEAP23 to help fast-track Saudi’s economic and societal transformation. The enduring legacy of this year’s event, which is powered by the Ministry of Communications, and Information Technology (MCIT) in conjunction with Tahaluf – a strategic joint venture co-owned by Informa PLC and SAFCSP – is expected to be a huge catalogue of breakthrough products, ideas, and partnerships.

LEAP broke all tech event records during its launch outing, and organisers Informa Markets believe this year’s iteration – which will also feature more than 90 global startups pitching for a share of a US$1 million prize fund – will further raise the bar.

“There has never been an event that has gained such rapid traction among businesses, governments, sponsors, and tech luminaries,” said Michael Champion, Regional EVP, MEA at Informa Markets. “Tech players now view LEAP as an unmissable event and Saudi Arabia as a catalyst for an entirely new world of opportunity.”

For more information, please visit https://www.onegiantleap.com


About LEAP:

Saudi Arabia is putting itself at the forefront of emerging tech through large-scale adoption and ambitious pilot projects. Its ambition will be showcased on a global stage and the Kingdom will become a hub that connects three continents. LEAP is a manifestation of this ambition. A seismic event that accelerates the adoption of technology and transforms Saudi Arabia’s economy. Together with LEAP, the Kingdom will see mass tech adoption, a shift away from oil as the principal strategic economic resource, and instead become a regional hub for both traditional and emerging technology.

Saudi Arabia has an endless ambition to shoot for something beyond that thought possible, to achieve a significant impact from game-changing tech and globally disruptive projects and to always keep one eye on the stars.

About Tahaluf:

Headquartered in Riyadh, Tahaluf brings together strategically important commercial communities from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the wider Gulf region and from around the world at a portfolio of world class exhibitions and digital platforms.

Tahaluf is a joint venture partnership between the Saudi Federation for Cybersecurity, Programming and Drones (SAFCSP) and Informa PLC, the world’s largest tradeshow organiser.

Through 2023 and 2024 Tahaluf will build on its award-winning events LEAP (www.onegiantleap.com) and Black Hat Middle East (www.blackhatmea.com) to launch new, large scale business-to-business events. 

New Tahaluf events include the Artificial Intelligence event DeepFest (www.deepfest.com) 6-9 February 2023; food and hospitality show, Feast (www.Onegiantfeast.com) 24-26 October 2023; beauty industry festival Cosmoprof Middle East; international real estate show Cityscape Global (www.cityscapeglobal.com) 10-13 September 2023 and the Middle East edition of the leading pharma brand, CPHI Middle East (www.cphi.com) 15-17 January 2024.

For more information about Tahaluf, visit https://tahaluf.com.

 [MR1]Where is that quote from?

 [MR2]2022 Launch event

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