RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s $500 billion signature giga-project NEOM has claimed the top position in Forbes’ new list of Top 10 Economies of the Future Companies in Saudi Arabia.
NEOM is part of 40 firms that are divided into four categories by Forbes to highlight the Kingdom’s most progressive firms.
Prepared in partnership with Saudi Arabia’s Research, Development, and Innovation Authority, the report includes the 10 most innovative companies in Saudi Arabia, with NEOM claiming the third position in this category.
The report noted that the city relies heavily on 5G hyperconnectivity, Artificial Intelligence, robotics, purpose-built data centers, big data analytics, augmented virtual reality, and automated guided vehicles within its mega projects: Trojena, Oxagon, and THE LINE.
It added that the Saudi crown prince has invested $1 billion in AI, including a metaverse platform in 2022, through NEOM Tech & Digital Co.
“The Saudi Arabian government — with the support of major telecom and large industrial companies — has been developing the country’s innovation ecosystem, and these efforts are starting to show results,” said Forbes.
The Saudi Telecom Co., also known as stc, was revealed as the Kingdom’s second Economy of the Future Co., whereas Al Rajhi Bank came in third.
The Saudi Arabian Oil Co., also known as Saudi Aramco, led the way as the most innovative company as well as the top energy and industrial leadership company, according to the Forbes report.
With 70 percent of its shares owned by Aramco, the Saudi chemical manufacturing company SABIC came in second in innovation and energy and industrial leadership in 2022.
"Saudi Arabia is on the way to becoming a global innovation powerhouse, it has all the ingredients in place: World-class infrastructure, a young, educated workforce, large companies with big pockets, and supportive leadership,” added Forbes.