A company official said that Oracle Corp. plans to invest $1.5 billion in Saudi Arabia over the next few years as it expands its cloud footprint in the kingdom and opens its third public cloud region in Riyadh.
Because of the growing popularity of cloud computing, tech companies like Oracle, Microsoft, Amazon, and Alphabet’s Google have set up data centres all over the world to speed up the transfer of data.
Officials in Saudi Arabia have tried to get foreign companies to invest in the country and move their regional headquarters to Riyadh so they can get government contracts.
“We’re putting the finishing touches on the plans to open the Riyadh region.” In an interview from Dubai, Nick Redshaw, a senior vice president at Oracle, said, “We are still working with our suppliers before we can say the exact date.”
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Redshaw said that the investment will be made over a number of years, but he didn’t say how much. He also said that Oracle would increase the size of its Jeddah cloud region, which the company opened in 2020.
The company made the announcement as tech companies from all over the world met in the Saudi capital for a big tech conference.
Even though Oracle isn’t as big as some of its competitors, it was one of the first big tech companies to open a data centre in Saudi Arabia.
The de facto leader of the kingdom, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, has put hundreds of billions of dollars into a plan to change the economy called Vision 2030.
But it has had trouble getting foreign direct investment (FDI), which is one of the main ideas behind Vision 2030, which aims to get the economy to depend less on oil.
In the first half of 2022, FDI reached just under $4.1 billion. This is a small amount of the $100 billion goal set for the end of this decade.
Oracle has been working with the government, but Saudi Arabia has been trying to get foreign companies to move their headquarters there or lose government contracts. They have until the end of 2023 to do so.
“We are working closely with the Saudi government to finalise plans for that regional headquarters requirement, and we will announce them as soon as we do,” Redshaw said.
Oracle has also won contracts from the crown prince’s $500 billion flagship NEOM project, which is a futuristic megacity and economic zone he is building on the Red Sea coast.
Redshaw said that NEOM is one of our biggest cloud customers in Saudi Arabia.