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MIAMI: The head of Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) on Thursday pitched the kingdom as a prospective hub for artificial intelligence activity outside the United States, citing its energy resources and funding capacity.

“We are fairly well positioned to be an AI hub outside of the US,” said PIF Governor Yasir Al-Rumayyan, speaking at a Miami investment event sponsored by the sovereign wealth fund.

“AI will consume a lot of energy and we are the global leader when it comes to fossil fuel energy and when it comes to renewable energy,” he said.

Most Gulf markets fall in early trade, Saudi gains

Rumayyan said Saudi Arabia, the world’s biggest oil producer, also had the “political will” to make AI projects happen and ample funds it could deploy to nurture the technology’s development.

His comments signal that data centers may be a core part of Riyadh’s strategy to capitalize on booming demand for generative AI technology, which requires vast amounts of processing power.

AI technology uses clusters of thousands of chips in massive data centers to train algorithms to complete tasks.

Tech companies’ electricity costs have spiked as they compete to build increasingly sophisticated AI models and roll out generative products to billions of users.

Rumayyan said PIF was allocating more than 70% of the fund to projects and investments inside Saudi Arabia and was targeting an international allocation of 20% to 25% moving forward.

About 40% of the fund’s international investments were in the United States, he said. PIF was deploying about $40 billion to $50 billion annually and would increase that to $70 billion a year between 2025 and 2030, he said.

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