Saudi Arabia Gears Up to Become Middle East’s Fintech Hub

Within a few months, Riyadh became the second most attractive city in the region for fintech companies (AP)
Within a few months, Riyadh became the second most attractive city in the region for fintech companies (AP)
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Saudi Arabia Gears Up to Become Middle East’s Fintech Hub

Within a few months, Riyadh became the second most attractive city in the region for fintech companies (AP)
Within a few months, Riyadh became the second most attractive city in the region for fintech companies (AP)

Amid a fast-paced financial world, Saudi Arabia is emerging as a very bright spot for the future of the financial technology sector in the Middle East.

What makes the Kingdom a prominent home for financial technology in the region are several record achievements, foremost of which is the development of infrastructure to be ready for innovative products, and the issuance of legislation aimed at enabling companies and new technologies.

In May, the Saudi Cabinet approved the Kingdom’s financial technology strategy, a move that experts said would enable and activate modern means in the financial sector and attract local and foreign companies to work in an equipped infrastructure in the Kingdom.

The strategy comes as a new pillar within the Kingdom Vision 2030’s Financial Sector Development Program (FSDP).

Kingdom Vision 2030 seeks to develop the national economy, diversify sources of income, enable financial institutions to support the growth of the private sector, and open the way for new companies to provide financial services in Saudi Arabia.

Capital Market Authority (CMA) Chairman Mohammed Elkuwaiz clarified that the strategy supports all financial technology activities through transformation engines combined with initiatives that support service providers and develop the sector’s infrastructure.

The strategy comprises six key transformational drivers, which are: highlighting the Saudi identity globally, strengthening the regulatory framework, supporting the sector, developing human resources, advancing technical infrastructure, and enhancing cooperation at the local and global levels.

These transformational drivers include 11 initiatives, which will help strengthen Saudi Arabia's position globally in the field of fintech and support the kingdom's GDP by creating additional job and investment opportunities by 2030.

Fintech strategy was designed within the FSDP through collaborative efforts among the following entities: SAMA, CMA, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, Ministry of Investment, the Small and Medium Enterprises General Authority (Monsha'at), and Fintech Saudi.

The shared vision of those entities is to achieve global competitiveness and make Saudi Arabia a fintech hub where technology-based innovation in financial services is the foundation for enhancing the economic empowerment of individuals and society.



Saudi Arabia Unveils Extensive Mineralized Belts for Exploration Firms

Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources is inviting local and international companies to participate in the Exploration Licensing for launched mineralized belts (Reuters)
Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources is inviting local and international companies to participate in the Exploration Licensing for launched mineralized belts (Reuters)
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Saudi Arabia Unveils Extensive Mineralized Belts for Exploration Firms

Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources is inviting local and international companies to participate in the Exploration Licensing for launched mineralized belts (Reuters)
Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources is inviting local and international companies to participate in the Exploration Licensing for launched mineralized belts (Reuters)

Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources has unveiled its largest mineralized belts to date, spanning 4.7 thousand square kilometers and including five new exploration licenses.
The Ministry is inviting major mining and exploration companies to participate in the current Exploration Licensing Rounds, aiming to unlock the extensive mineral wealth of these belts.
The Ministry’s spokesperson, Jarrah Al-Jarrah, emphasized that this initiative underscores Saudi Arabia’s commitment to strengthening its mining and minerals sector and creating investment opportunities.

The five available exploration licenses are part of the Ministry’s strategy to boost exploration investment and support Vision 2030 objectives, which aim to position mining as a key industry in the Kingdom.
These licenses cover significantly larger areas than previous rounds and are targeted at high-net-worth companies with developed base and precious metal mines.
Saudi Arabia is seeking investors capable of exploring and discovering large, tier-1 deposits within approximately 1,000 square kilometers of exploration licenses. The Kingdom’s infrastructure and competitive financing options make it well-positioned to develop new tier-1 sites.
The Ministry is inviting local and international companies to participate in the Exploration Licensing for the following mineralized belts:
- Jabal Sayid: Three exploration licenses covering 2,892 square kilometers. The belt contains copper, zinc, lead, gold, and silver.
- Al-Hajjar: Two exploration licenses at the Wadi Shwas VMS Belt, covering 1,896 square kilometers. This site holds deposits of gold, silver, copper, and zinc.
Al-Jarrah highlighted that Jabal Sayid and Al-Hajjar are the largest mineralized belt sites ever launched by the Kingdom.
The bidding process for the exploration licenses will be transparent and conducted in stages, beginning with pre-qualification from July to October 2024.
Qualified bidders will then submit technical proposals and social and environmental impact management plans by December 2024, with the winners announced and licenses granted in January 2025.