US tech giant picks UAE for first Middle East data hubs

Microsoft says it will open two new data centres in Dubai and Abu Dhabi
US tech giant picks UAE for first Middle East data hubs
By Shayan Shakeel
Wed 14 Mar 2018 01:49 PM

Microsoft announced on Wednesday it will open two new data centres in the UAE, marking its first such foray into a growing market for cloud services in the Middle East.

Developed at an undisclosed but “significant investment”, the new facilities in Abu Dhabi and Dubai tap into Microsoft’s network of over 50 data centres around the world, and will allow the tech giant and its network of 17,800 partners in the Middle East to provide a host of cloud related solutions to new and existing customers looking to modernise their operations.

Initial availability for Microsoft’s Cloud based services is expected in 2019. Microsoft currently claims the world’s largest network of connected cloud services servicing more than 20 million businesses and 1 billion customers.

The company counts organisations such as The Emirates Group, Emaar Properties, Etihad Airways, Majid Al Futtaim, and Jumeirah Hotels and Resorts, among its clients that will benefit with its new announcement.

It also works with technology partners throughout the Middle East and Africa to support more than 4,000 start-ups, and integrating its Abu Dhabi and Dubai data centres with its global cloud infrastructure will connect regional businesses with global opportunities, said Hashish. “This will accelerate new investments and job opportunities across the Middle East.”

“Microsoft has been present in the Middle East for more than two decades and is deeply invested in the region,” Sayed Hashish, regional general manager, Microsoft Gulf told Arabian Business.

“We see a lot of demand from small and medium businesses as well as large enterprises for these services, and local datacentres are the logical next step given the enormous opportunity. Our ambition is for the Microsoft Cloud to form a strategic part of the backbone for regional economic development.”

The company is collaborating with Etisalat Digital, a business unit of Etisalat, to provide provide consulting, migration and managed services to and sees “tremendous potential” for adoption of services from its new datacenters.

“The strength of Microsoft’s cloud combined with Etisalat’s own advanced infrastructure and reliable connectivity will be instrumental in accelerating cloud adoption in the UAE and the Middle East,” said Salvador Anglada, chief business officer, Etisalat.

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