Council member

Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia is a founding member state of the Digital Cooperation Organization, and holds the inaugural Chairmanship of the Council.

The DCO was launched in November 2020 during Saudi Arabia’s presidency of the G20, which focused on growing the global digital economy and combatting COVID-19.

Saudi Arabia’s transformative Vision 2030 economic diversification plan centered government focus on the digital transformation of a number of sectors including healthcare, education, infrastructure and tourism.

Key Achievements

  • In March 2022,  Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Health launched Seha Virtual Hospital, the largest virtual hospital in the world, attracting the attention of healthcare investors around the world.
  • In July 2022, Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of ICT launched a strategic partnership with DCO Observer and international digital pioneer IBM to upskill 100,000 Saudis in five years.
  • In the 2021 Digital Competitiveness Report by the European Center for Digital Competitiveness, Saudi Arabia ranked second in the G20 for digital competitiveness.
  • Saudi Arabia has been recognized by the World Bank as a Top Reformer in their Women, Business and the Law Report, while women’s participation in the ICT sector increased from 7% in 2017 to 29% in 2022.
  • Saudi Arabia boasts more than 3,500 digitized government services, including in healthcare, justice and education, with the digitization of over 125 judicial services serving over 3.5mn beneficiaries in 2021 alone.


Saudi Arabia skyline

The Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) – led by His Excellency Abdullah Al-Swaha – is enacting the ICT Strategy 2019-2023 to establish a strong and advanced digital infrastructure.

The Strategy is focused on growing the sector, increasing its contribution to GDP, supporting efforts to localize technology, attracting foreign investment and contributing to supporting women’s empowerment and participation.

Saudi Arabia is fostering digitization through significant investment in its national infrastructure. Saudi Telecom Company, for example, has installed high-speed internet in over 1 million homes, while modernizing and expanding the country’s 4G mobile internet to improve its performance. Moreover, Saudi now ranks 4th in the world for 5G connectivity, with the country’s 5G currently boasting over 1.5 million subscribers.

In the field of data privacy, in September 2021 Saudi Arabia published its first Personal Data Protection Law (PDPL), including provisions for data controllers, the rights of data subjects and sanctions for non-compliance.

To support Saudi’s significant and rising entrepreneurial sector, a number of incubator and development programs are in place in the country to foster innovation, create new job opportunities and increase the adoption of new technologies.  MCIT currently operates the Tech Champions program, designed to strengthen Saudi’s position as a leading digital hub through enhancing the economic contribution of technology SMEs. That program is part of the Center for Digital Entrepreneurship, an entity that expedites and capitalizes the growing pace of the Saudi digital economy.