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Open Government Data

In this section, you will understand the concept of open data, the policies, laws and advantages related to it, including its nine principles, and the general rules for open data. This section will also highlight each individual’s right to access and use the Open Government Data, the quality of open data in the Kingdom based on the Open Data Standards Guide, open data portals on the Open Data Portal for Government Agencies and statistical data related to the main axes of open data quality and open data quality benchmarks offered by the General Authority for Statistics in the Kingdom.

What is the Open Government Data?

Open Government Data is data that can be easily used and accessed by any individual without technical, financial or legal constraints. Open data can also be reused and redistributed, while taking into account the requirements posed by the  Open Data License ,where such data is distributed.
Open Government Data assists in bridging the gap between governments and citizens, allowing the public to benefit from open data in the following ways:

  • Allowing the public to acquire a better understanding of how government agencies work.
  • Creating opportunities for the public to evaluate the performance of various government agencies.
  • Allowing citizens to use the provided open data for research, reports, and providing feedback.
  • Developing web and smartphone applications and solutions based on Open Government Data.

All government agencies can select open distribution of their data for various purposes.

What are the Benefits and Advantages of Open Data?

Open Data provides the following benefits and advantages:

  • Promotes transparency.
  • Offers citizen participation.
  • Improves the efficiency of government services. 
  • Encourages creativity and innovation.
  • Creates new job opportunities and generates new economic fields.
  • Combines and uses multiple data sources to gain new knowledge.

Open Data Policies and Regulations

In order to achieve the principle of transparency and enable citizens in the Kingdom to obtain access
to a large base of government data, the Kingdom has launched certain policies and guidelines to make this possible. Known as the national regulator of data in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Saudi Data and Artificial Intelligence Authority (SDAIA), has developed the framework for national data governance to set the policies and regulations required for data classification, data sharing, data privacy, freedom of information, open data and others in anticipation of necessary legislations.

Open Data Regulations

The  Open Data Regulations sets the legal basis and obligations for all data and public information produced by public entities regardless of the source, form, or nature, while setting the legal grounds and minimum standards for the government agencies to publish their datasets. The Open Data Regulation also defines the roles and responsibilities of the Saudi Data and Artificial Intelligence Authority (SDAIA)  and its sub-entities, as well as the obligations of the National Data Management Office (NDMO)National Information Center (NIC), and all government entities in terms of open data planning, identification, publishing, maintenance, performance tracking and compliance.

Main Principles for Open Data

  • Principle 1: Origin of Data Availability
  • Principle 2: Open Data Format and Case Sensitive
  • Principle 3: Up-to-Date Data
  • Principle 4: Comprehensive Data
  • Principle 5: Non-discriminatory Data
  • Principle 6: Free of Charge Data
  • Principle 7: Open Data Licensing in the Kingdom
  • Principle 8: Developing a Governance Model and Promoting Citizen Engagement
  • Principle 9: Comprehensive Development and Innovation

For more information about the policies and regulations related to Open Data, please visit the Saudi Data and Artificial Intelligence Authority (SDAIA) portal.

Open Data Portal – DATA.GOV.SA

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia provides an integrative database of open government data to achieve transparency, encourage electronic participation and stimulate creativity. By distributing data across ministries and government agencies, openly, on an Open Data Portal for Government Agencies, you are able to view, use, and benefit from the provided data. The platform enables you to have a central point of access to find, download and use datasets generated by the ministries and governmental entities in the country.

You can access a large number of datasets available on the Open Data Portal and search based on organizations, groups, tags or formats of the datasets.

You can also benefit from the Geographic Information Systems (GIS) data listed on the Open Data Portal  or the National Portal and are encouraged to use the dataset request function to request government agencies to publish new datasets.

Open Data Repository and Metadata Standards

The Open Data Portal has established an Open Data Repository  as a register of all available datasets produced by the government authorities made available on the Open Data Portal, containing a data dictionary with a list of all datasets available on the Open Data Portal, including a list of all the files in a database, the number of records in each file, and the names and types of each field. Each government organization must create and maintain an inventory of their datasets according to the metadata standards set out in the Data Quality Guideline.

Application Programming Interfaces (APIs)

In the case of developers, the Open Data Portal includes Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) from across the government, offering a great potential to use these APIs to build new applications and services for all Saudi citizens, residents and businesses. For more information on how to use Open data APIs please see the Open data Developers API Guide and the Publishers API Guide.

Open Data Competitions and Events

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia seeks to promote the open data culture and encourages the engagement of individuals and teams to participate in Open Data Competitions organised by various government agencies.
The Open Data Competition is a contest that allows participants to solve a problem or create a new opportunity. The objective is to encourage the utilisation of open data, improve the quality of the available open datasets, and identify and solve issues related to open data.
The competitions target individuals or teams interested in developing ideas and businesses using open data in Saudi Arabia. Developers, designers, engineers, project managers, business development, and individuals with different backgrounds are invited to submit and develop their ideas and innovations. Innovative ideas and creative solutions can target different sectors, such as Education, Health, Social Protection, Environment, Employment, Justice, Finance, Tourism, Transport, Communications, etc.
For more information about the current and the previous Open Data Competitions and Events related to Open Data, please visit the Open Data Portal.

Open Data Guidlines

The development of an Open Data Guidlines was generated to facilitate a culture of open data in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and guide government agencies and other entities to understand the basic concepts of Open Datahow to plan and implement an open government data programme.  The Guidlines provides a comprehensive step by step approach to help government agencies develop an open data initiative, create their open data strategies and platforms, and publish more open data in a simplified manner.
The Open Govenment Data Guidlines contains: 

Statistical Data

General Authority for Statistics

The General Authority for Statistics supervises the national databases for various statistical fields and works to transfer knowledge and spread statistical awareness. This entity represents an official organization providing public authorities, private enterprises, individuals, and international bodies with official statistics under legal procedures supporting policymakers and decision-makers to implement organizational development plans. You can access the data on the General Authority for Statistics website.

Real-time data & APIs

The Government provides multiple sets of Real-time data, which also contain Application Programming Interfaces (APIs). The aim is to ensure that all Saudi citizens, residents, visitors and companies can have easy, equal and free of charge access to accurate and up to date real-time data and information. The Government also encourages all citizens and developers to freely use these APIs to build new applications and services for Saudi citizens.

Below is a list of examples about real-time data platforms which also provide APIs:

For more information on using the Government Real-time data and APIs, please visit the Open Data Portal, or consult thePublishers API Guide and Developers API Guide.


Last Modified Date: 15/09/2021 - 1:43 PM Saudi Arabia Time
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