After setting numerous new industry records during its 2022 debut, LEAP23 has shattered benchmarks once again after confirming 172,000 attendees this year, making it the world’s largest technology event by attendance.
Organisers of Saudi Arabia’s LEAP the world’s most visionary, and now most attended, technology event – have revealed next year’s edition, which will run from March 4-7, will move to a new home to ensure the pioneering platform continues to accelerate the Kingdom’s digital transformation.
After two game-changing outings, LEAP24 will transition to a 120,000 square metre capacity venue next year, enabling the third event to double in floor size and cater for even more innovative future technologies, digital entrepreneurs, tech startups, and high-profile guest speakers.
Powered by Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) in conjunction with Tahaluf – a strategic joint venture co-owned by Informa PLC and SAFCSP – LEAP’s expanded new venue will further enhance the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s position as the largest digital market in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).
“Momentum continues to go into orbit. In its first edition, LEAP22 enjoyed the largest debut of any technology event in history. In its second year, LEAP23 has rewritten the rule book once more to become the world’s largest technology sector event by attendance,” said Michael Champion, who heads Tahaluf, organisers of LEAP.
A core enabler in Saudi Arabia’s ambitious Vision 2030, the four-day LEAP23 saw an unprecedented 300,000-plus visitor registrations from more than 100 countries, and welcomed a high-profile faculty of 1,000 global investors up from 350 last year.
Comprising major investor groups, sovereign wealth funds, private family groups, as well as major venture capital and private equity funds focused on technology, LEAP23’s investor faculty boasted assets under management totalling US$2 trillion.
With on-event transactions exceeding US$9 billion a 32 per cent year-on-year increase on the US$6.8 billion in deals announced in 2022 LEAP23 has injected fresh foreign direct investment impetus into Saudi Arabia’s rapidly evolving digital ecosystems and startup economy.
Major announcements this year have included mega infrastructure investments and multiple new data centres nationwide, a raft of billion-dollar-plus public-private partnerships, and new academies to foster and upskill homegrown talent.
During the closing remarks of LEAP23, Champion added: “There is no limit to the ambition of this event, or this nation. While the on-event investment announcements are truly unprecedented, the legacy of this year’s show will extend further and deeper than anyone can truly comprehend.
“There are 380,000 technology professionals currently working in Silicon Valley – the world’s tech capital – and there are 340,000 employed in Saudi’s technology industry. We are still only seeing the tip of the iceberg and when we consider that technology investment, adoption, innovation, and entrepreneurship are key pillars in the Kingdom’s ambitious economic diversification strategy, the potential for LEAP to power Saudi Arabia’s digital transformation and galvanise growth across the international technology arena is unlimited.”
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.
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 and Black Hat Middle East to launch new, large scale business-to-business events.
New Tahaluf events include the Artificial Intelligence event DeepFest 6-9 February 2023; food and hospitality show, Feast 24-26 October 2023; beauty industry festival Cosmoprof Middle East; international real estate show Cityscape Global 10-13 September 2023 and the Middle East edition of the leading pharma brand, CPHI Middle East 15-17 January 2024.