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#LEAP24: Microsoft launches Center of Excellence to boost digital skills of Saudi workforce, while Adobe to open new regional headquarters in Riyadh by 2025

The Saudi workforce is set to receive a digital skills boost after Microsoft announced a new Center of Excellence, empowering professionals in the Kingdom. 

In collaboration with the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology, the disclosure was made on the sidelines of the tech conference LEAP, being held in Riyadh.

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In an interview with Arab News, Turki Badhris, president of Microsoft Arabia, expanded on the thinking behind the center as he highlighted the company’s accomplishment of empowering over 100,000 Saudi professionals.

Badhris said: “We just recently announced our Center of Excellence with the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology in partnership with Tuwaiq and our partner Spectrum (Networks). That is to build an AI advanced digital academy that definitely will help the workforce in Saudi Arabia with the latest digital skills and AI skills.” 


He underlined the significant role that artificial intelligence plays in realizing Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 and broader digital transformation initiatives in the Kingdom. 

“We believe that AI has evolved from just being a buzzword to a reality today that is changing the way we live and work, definitely transforming our world. In order to really unlock and unleash the potential of AI technology, the data centers are there to unleash that potential of AI,” he added. 

“We are seeing a big and increased demand from our customers, including organizations in the private sector and government. They really want to move into the cloud, and we predict in Microsoft that many of these customers will move to Microsoft Data Center in 2024,” said Badhris.

The Centre of Excellence, powered by Spectrum Networks, offers a wide range of globally recognized, industry-endorsed, and role-based skilling tracks. 

These tracks aim to support individuals, from beginners to experienced professionals, and organizations in gaining a professional edge. They offer training and certifications in current technologies like cloud computing, AI, Internet of Things, and Generative AI. 

“We have more than 2,500 partners in Saudi Arabia, and we are working closely with them to strengthen their capabilities and advancement, especially when it comes to our solutions,” Badhris said. 

He added that recently, in collaboration with the Ministry of Investment, the company launched a significant initiative called the Alliance to Innovate.

Badhris said through this move, Microsoft Arabia is encouraging more than 70 global and regional partners with specialities in areas such as cybersecurity, IoT, cloud and AI to come to Saudi Arabia to “see the potential” and “hopefully, to come and move their headquarters.” 

Adobe to open new regional headquarters in Riyadh by 2025

American multinational computer software company Adobe plans to establish a new regional headquarters in Riyadh by early 2025.

The announcement comes after the firm received license approval from the Saudi Ministry of Investment, enabling the company to better serve the demand for digital customer experiences and creative solutions in the Kingdom and across the region.

Adobe, operating in Saudi Arabia and the Middle East for over 20 years, assists public and private sector firms such as the Saudi Tourism Authority, stc and Riyadh Air in increasing document productivity, and providing digital experiences to their clients.

Adobe has also collaborated with digital transformation partners in the region, including Accenture, AWS and Deloitte Digital as well as IBM, Microsoft and PwC Middle East.

On the sidelines of the annual tech conference LEAP 2024, Adobe also partnered with the Kingdom’s national carrier Riyadh Air to integrate with a broad range of travel partners, both within the Kingdom and globally, allowing guests to manage their entire travel experience through its digital properties.

The company is working on developing and implementing large-scale personalization strategies to cater to millions of potential users and customers in real time, with the aim of gaining a significant market share by offering personalized experiences.

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