Amazon Web Services (AWS) said on Wednesday it will open three data centres in the UAE in the first half of next year to tap into the burgeoning demand for cloud services in the country.
The new centres will enable the company to expand its data storage offering to public and private enterprises, start-ups and educational institutions, which are experiencing an uptick in demand for cloud solutions due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
In 2019, the Seattle-based company opened three data centres – it’s first in the region – in Bahrain.
The Middle East and Africa market are among the top three regions worldwide where the public cloud services domain is seeing the fastest growth, according to International Data Corporation.
The spending on public cloud services in the region is expected to surge to $11.6 billion by 2025, growing at an annual rate of 25.5 per cent, IDC said. The UAE, Saudi Arabia and South Africa remain the three biggest markets within the region for spending on cloud, it added.
AWS, the biggest cloud storage provider in the world, counts First Abu Dhabi Bank, flydubai, Union Insurance, Careem, StarzPlay, Anghami and Sarwa as its customers. It declined to disclose the investment made in its UAE data centres.
“There is great potential in the Middle East to take advantage of modern cloud computing … they [businesses] are leveraging cloud because they want to reach the global market,” Mr Peterson said. The executive did not disclose the exact locations of the UAE data centres due to security reasons.
Last month, AWS reported revenues of $13.5bn in the first quarter of this year – nearly 6.2 per cent more than the last three months of 2020 – as demand for cloud computing continued into 2021.
Globally, AWS has 80 data centres across 25 locations, with plans to launch 18 more data centres in Australia, India, Indonesia, Spain and Switzerland in addition to the UAE in the coming months.
AWS has joined forces with various stakeholders in the Emirates, including Abu Dhabi Investment Office, to ensure a smooth rollout of its data facilities in the UAE.
“We are open to partnering with global companies to fuel the tech growth in the region. A lot of the companies that are basing themselves here don’t look at UAE just as a single market but they consider it as an access point to the wider region,”
The UAE is focused on using advanced technology to develop its non-oil sector in line with a strategy to diversify its economy and reduce reliance on hydrocarbons. Adio is facilitating private sector participation into the broader economy through public-private partnerships and by helping to attract foreign investment.
Several global tech titans, such as SAP, Microsoft, Alibaba and Oracle have established data centres in the Middle East.
For regional enterprises, moving to a cloud system hosted by a specialised company proves cheaper than creating their own infrastructure of servers, hardware and security networks.
“Our cloud approach has been one of the fundamental principles of our technology strategy since the beginning of last year. This has accelerated our digital transformation in the cloud and on-premises with 50 per cent improved time-to-market,” said Yuri Misnik, chief technology officer of FAB.
“We welcome the upcoming AWS region in the UAE, which will help us realise our cloud ambitions effectively and securely while being fully compliant with local regulation.”
AWS’ data facilities will also allow its global customers to leverage the region to serve new audiences.