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Saudi Arabia Launches $200 Million High-Tech Investment Fund

The spending is part of King Abdullah University of Science and Technology’s strategy to promote economic diversification and create new technical jobs.

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saudi arabia launches $200 million high-tech investment fund

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has announced the launch of a $200 million fund to invest in domestic and international tech firms as part of the Kingdom’s economic diversification plan.

The investment fund is part of a strategy devised by the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) and focuses on “increasing the likelihood of turning research into economically beneficial innovations”.

Plans include launching the National Transformation Institute for Applied Research (NTI) to improve technology development and commercialization, restructuring research centers, and creating a new fund to “enhance economic diversification and contribute to the creation of high-quality technical jobs”.

“The new strategy builds on Kaust’s scientific and academic achievements and represents a new era for the university to become a beacon of knowledge and a source of inspiration and innovation in line with Vision 2030 aspirations,” Prince Mohammed explained in a recent press release.

Technology is an essential pillar of Saudi Arabia’s economy as the country transitions away from oil production. The Kingdom is projected to invest $34.6 billion on information and communications technology by the end of 2023, making it the top-spending nation in the Middle East, Turkey, and Africa.

Also Read: Dubai Municipality To Test Construction Materials Using AI Robots

In February, Saudi Arabia announced plans to invest $9 billion in its technology sector, which includes a $2.1 billion commitment from Microsoft. In addition, Oracle has announced plans to invest $1.5 billion in Saudi cloud computing, and Huawei has earmarked $400 million to enhance the country’s cloud infrastructure.

Meanwhile, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology will continue collaborating with several international tech companies, including IBM and Boeing, and has partnered with academic and commercial institutes in Shenzhen on aerospace, robotics, and microelectronics projects.

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Hamad International Wins 2024 Skytrax World Airport Awards

The Qatar airport also won “World’s Best Airport Shopping” for the 2nd time, and “Best Airport in the Middle East” for the 10th year.

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hamad international wins 2024 skytrax world airport awards

Hamad International Airport (DOH) in Doha, Qatar, has once again won the “World’s Best Airport” title at the Skytrax World Airport Awards. The award ceremony, held at the Passenger Terminal Expo 2024 in Frankfurt, Germany, also saw Hamad clinch the accolade of “World’s Best Airport Shopping” for the 2nd time in a row and “Best Airport in the Middle East” for an impressive 10th consecutive year.

Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive Officer, Eng. Badr Mohammed Al-Meer, who played a key role in the airport’s development over the past decade, said: “This is a remarkable achievement for Hamad International Airport, as it celebrates its 10th anniversary of operational excellence, connecting passengers seamlessly from all around the world. It is a testament to the dedication of our team and partners, who have contributed to providing passengers with the finest travel experience”.

hamad international airport doha qatar

Al-Meer emphasized the importance of understanding changing travel trends and the needs of modern air passengers: “At the heart of our growth strategy lies the passengers’ journey, their evolving needs, and our commitment to meeting and exceeding their expectations. We have introduced a diverse range of experiences at the airport, including Souq Al Matar, which brings Qatari hospitality and culture closer to travelers, “Orchard”, the ideal place for relaxation and rejuvenation between flights, and an array of high-end lounges”.

Also Read: Top E-Commerce Websites In The Middle East In 2024

Hamad International Airport saw a massive 31% surge in passenger traffic during 2023, with the transport hub now serving over 45 million passengers annually. The airport is now home to prestigious airlines, including Vistara, Iberia, Xiamen Airlines, Garuda Indonesia, and Japan Airlines, serving 250+ destinations for passenger and cargo flights.

The uptick in traffic is no doubt due to the completion of the first phase of an extensive expansion project. Hamad’s management intends to radically update the airport’s facilities over the coming years in a bid to create the “airport of the future”. The expansion features a unique and calming environment of lush greenery and several contemporary dining and shopping concepts among the already well-equipped leisure facilities.

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