IT expenditure in MENA to grow by 2.6%, reach $1.7bn in 2022: Gartner

IT expenditure in MENA to grow by 2.6%, reach $1.7bn in 2022: Gartner
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Updated 23 November 2021

IT expenditure in MENA to grow by 2.6%, reach $1.7bn in 2022: Gartner

IT expenditure in MENA to grow by 2.6%, reach $1.7bn in 2022: Gartner

IT spending in the Middle East and North Africa is set to hit $1.7 billion next year, despite a slight slowdown in expenditure, according to tech research and consulting company Gartner.

The Connecticut-based firm forecast that spending in the sector would rise by 2.6 percent in 2022, compared to a growth rate of 2.7 percent this year. 

Gartner said this rise in expenditure is mainly attributed to Gulf Cooperation Council countries’ “rapid shift” from oil-exporting economic models to knowledge-based economies.

Renewable energy’s more prominent status and falls in oil prices during the pandemic accelerated this shift, as traditional exports started to take a back seat, the report claims.

It also said that workers becoming rapidly digitally literate, the digitalization of sectors such as retail and banking, and the emergence of 5G technology all present opportunities for the IT sector to further grow in 2022.

The communications services segment will account for the largest percentage of IT expenditure in 2022, making up 66 percent according to the forecasts.

The NYSE-listed company added that the IT services sub-sector is projected to grow by the highest rate next year compared to others, going up by 8.6 percent. 

Meanwhile, spending in the devices segment was the only one expected to decline, decreasing by 0.2 percent.


Saudi Arabia and US to establish joint centers of excellence in emerging technologies

Saudi Arabia and US to establish joint centers of excellence in emerging technologies
Updated 13 sec ago

Saudi Arabia and US to establish joint centers of excellence in emerging technologies

Saudi Arabia and US to establish joint centers of excellence in emerging technologies

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology has signed a number of cooperation agreements with American research and academic bodies to establish centers of excellence in emerging technologies.

The deals also aim to implement strategic projects that enhance economic growth in the Kingdom, in line with its vision to transform into an innovation-based economy, Saudi Press Agency reported.

Agreements were concluded with US institutions including the University of California- Santa Barbara, Stanford University, University of California - Los Angeles and California Institute of Technology, known as Caltech. 

The partnership with the world’s leading research and technology centers seeks to consolidate the Kingdom’s position as a regional center for research, development and innovation, KACST President, Munir bin Mahmoud El-Desouki, said.

It also aims to achieve Saudi Vision 2030 by transferring and localizing emerging technologies and empowering national human resources, he added. 


Saudi Arabia witnessing massive transformation in tourism sector, says Dur Hospitality CEO

Saudi Arabia witnessing massive transformation in tourism sector, says Dur Hospitality CEO
Updated 24 min 25 sec ago

Saudi Arabia witnessing massive transformation in tourism sector, says Dur Hospitality CEO

Saudi Arabia witnessing massive transformation in tourism sector, says Dur Hospitality CEO

RIYADH: The efforts of the Saudi Tourism Ministry are a catalyst for the massive transformation of the hospitality sector in the Kingdom, said Sultan Bader Al-Otaibi.

Speaking at the Future Hospitality Summit in Riyadh, the CEO of Dur Hospitality said Saudi Arabia’s tourism and hospitality sector is witnessing a massive transformation and lauded the Tourism Ministry’s efforts in this regard. 

He also said events like Wold Hospitality Summit are very productive gatherings that help in learning and growing together. 

Dur Hospitality is a Saudi hospitality company established in 1976, recognized for its extensive record in managing, developing and operating a wide portfolio of hotels and residential compounds across the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. 

 


Saudi tourism sector to create 1 million jobs by 2030, says top official

Saudi tourism sector to create 1 million jobs by 2030, says top official
Updated 29 min ago

Saudi tourism sector to create 1 million jobs by 2030, says top official

Saudi tourism sector to create 1 million jobs by 2030, says top official

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s tourism sector will create 1 million jobs by 2030 and the Kingdom will welcome 100 million visitors, said Qusai Al-Fakhri, CEO of the Saudi Tourism Development Fund.

The sector will create one of every three new jobs in Saudi Arabia in the next decade, as the nation focuses more on the growth of non-oil sectors, said Al-Fakhri.

Talking about the progress of the Saudi tourism sector at the Future Hospitality Summit in Riyadh, he said: “Last year, with the support of the tourism ecosystem, and the larger government ecosystem and enablers, Saudi Arabia achieved record levels of domestic tourism that is remarkable globally.”

Al-Fakhri also noted that the tourism sector is expected to contribute 10 percent to the Kingdom’s gross domestic product by the end of this decade.

 

 

 


Submarine cable to link Algeria, Italy

Submarine cable to link Algeria, Italy
Updated 31 min 54 sec ago

Submarine cable to link Algeria, Italy

Submarine cable to link Algeria, Italy
  • EU-funded project will allow exchange of up to 2,000 MW of electricity
  • ‘It will certainly have a positive impact’ on both countries’ energy systems, ministry source tells Arab News

ROME: A submarine cable nearly 200 km long will soon link Italy and Algeria, allowing an exchange of up to 2,000 megawatts of electricity between the two countries.

The electrical interconnection project will link the Algerian region of El-Chafia, on the east coast, and the Italian island of Sardinia.

The project was discussed during a meeting in Rome between Mourad Adjal, CEO of Algerian state-owned natural gas company Sonelgaz, and Italy’s Minister of Ecological Transition Roberto Cingolani, before the start on Thursday of a two-day state visit by Algeria’s president.

A senior source in Italy’s Ministry of Ecological Transition told Arab News: “This project will be funded by the EU. It will certainly have a positive impact on the energy systems of Italy and Algeria, and we really believe it would help in the current situation when every country is working to increase its energy supply.”

Although a precise timeline is not known yet, Italy’s government is confident that “the activation of the electricity interconnection shouldn’t take long,” the source said.


Massive shift in retail experience after COVID-19 outbreak: Majid Al Futtaim Properties CEO

Massive shift in retail experience after COVID-19 outbreak: Majid Al Futtaim Properties CEO
Updated 24 May 2022

Massive shift in retail experience after COVID-19 outbreak: Majid Al Futtaim Properties CEO

Massive shift in retail experience after COVID-19 outbreak: Majid Al Futtaim Properties CEO

RIYADH: The retail experience has witnessed a massive shift after the outbreak of the pandemic, Majid Al Futtaim Properties CEO Ahmed Ismail told a gathering at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos on May 24.

He said that this massive shift has come as people were confined to their homes due to the pandemic. As things have improved, the CEO said that human beings have now that hunger for a social experience — something that has opened up new possibilities. 

Talking about the retail sector, Ismail said that data has been a big challenge for their businesses as their new-age competitors are incredibly data-rich with the implementation of new technologies. 

He revealed that Majid Al Futtaim Properties has invested a lot in recent years in data collection through loyalty programs and partnerships. 

The company has also inked partnership deals with payment processors, telecom companies, and even with the Dubai government through the Dubai smart initiative to bridge this data divide.