losses to software companies in Saudi Arabia amounted to more than one
billion riyals last year. Pirated software accounts for 73 per cent of
total software in circulation in the kingdom, said Abdul Aziz Al
Dahshan, manager of a major computer company in Riyadh.
This was partly due to the growth in the use of PCs which exceeds 27
per cent a year. Some 100,000 new computer users enter the market
every year, he said. Saudi officials are making great efforts to limit
piracy and prevent the entry of pirated software through air, land and
sea ports. Pirated software worth hundreds of thousands of dollars
have been confiscated in recent times.
These measures will lead to reducing piracy this year by no less than
20 per cent, especially after firm abidance by copyright and
intellectual property laws. Some 223,000 computers worth $500 million
were sold last year. Thirty-five per cent of these PCs are being
assembled in Saudi Arabia, said Ali Dhamiri, general manager of Compaq
The volume of computer, software, network and maintenance market in
Saudi Arabia was about $2 billion annually. Dhamiri expected the Saudi
market to grow by 19 per cent this year, after PCs are introduced in
more government and private sector offices.