Amazon to open its first Middle East data centres in Bahrain

Amazon Web Services aims to drive regional growth of cloud computing with data storage 'zones' from 2019
Amazon to open its first Middle East data centres in Bahrain
The Amazon Web Services event in Bahrain.
By Sarah Townsend
Mon 25 Sep 2017 04:04 PM

At least three huge data centres are to be built in Bahrain by 2019, following a deal between Amazon Web Services and the Bahrain government.

Amazon Web Services (AWS) - a subsidiary of Nasdaq-listed e-commerce giant Amazon - has selected Bahrain as the location for its first ever data centres in the Middle East.

It plans to open three 'availability zones', as it calls them, in Bahrain by 2019, with each zone comprising at least one data centre each, the company announced in Manama on Monday.

AWS has 44 availability zones in its 16 'infrastructure regions' around the world at present. Bahrain will be the 22nd such region (following five other planned global launches before that), and the first in the Middle East.

AWS provides cloud computing services to global clients, and has already worked with several companies in the region, including FlyDubai, Dubizzle, Fetchr, MBC broadcasting, PayFort and Careem.

At the launch event in Manama, AWS's vice-president of public sector, Teresa Carlson, said the plans fitted in with Bahrain's wider national plans to use cloud computing technology to store big data, cutting costs for companies and supporting private and public sector growth.

AWS CEO Andy Jassy said in a statement: "As countries in the Middle East look to transform their economies for generations to come, technology will play a major role, and the cloud will be in the middle of that transformation."

Khalid Al Rumaihi, CEO of Bahrain's inward investment agency Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB), added: "AWS's commitment to expanding it's presence in the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) region for Bahrain is a major enabler for technology and data-driven business across the GCC.

"The ability to store and share data at speeds the Gulf has never experienced before has the potential to help global corporates, SMEs, entrepreneurs and governments gain competitive advantage at a global level."

Carlson declined to tell Arabian Business exactly how many data centres the company would build, nor their sizes or locations citing commercial confidentiality, but said they would be the first of many data centres in the region.

AWS also announced on Monday it would launch its first AWS Edge Network Location in the Gulf, in the UAE in early 2018.

The company has 78 such facilities across the world, helping to speed up the transmission of data to and from different storage centres across the world.

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