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Tue 30 Jul 2019 12:09 PM

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Amazon Web Services launches Middle East Region in Bahrain

AWS customers in the region include Careem, Emirates NBD, Flydubai and Virgin Middle East

Amazon Web Services launches Middle East Region in Bahrain
Dr Werner Vogels, CTO, Amazon, addressing an AWS event earlier this year in Dubai.

Amazon Web Services has announced the opening of the AWS Middle East Region out of Bahrain, which the company says will allow companies, educational institutions and governments to run their applications and serve end-users from data centres located in the region.

“The cloud has the change to unlock digital transformation in the Middle East,” said Andy Jassy, the CEO of Amazon Web Services. “Today, we are launching advanced and secure technology infrastructure that matches the scale of our other AWS regions around the world and are already seeing strong demand in the Middle East for AWS technologies like artificial intelligence and machine learning, data analytics, IoT and much more.”

“We are excited to see how our cloud technology will provide new ways for governments to better engage with citizens, for enterprises to innovate for their next phase of growth, and for entrepreneurs to build businesses and compete on a global scale,” he added.

Around the world, AWS regions are composed of ‘availability zones’, each one located in a separate geographic location with enough distance to reduce the risk of a single event impacting business continuity. At the outset, the AWS Middle Region will offer three availability zones.

In the region, a number of start-ups and companies are building their businesses on or moving to AWS, including Careem, BitOasis, Al Tayer Group, Aramex, Bahrain Bourse, Flydubai, MBC Group and Virgin Middle East.

Another, Emirates NBD, is using AWS’s AI and machine learning services, data analytics and natural language processing technologies to better engage with customers.

“Emirates NBD has been collaborating with AWS and taking advantage of AWS’s technologies and innovation practices to develop personalised, real-time banking experiences,” said Abdulla Qassem, Emirates NBD’s group COO. “The new AWS Middle East region will allow us to further experiment and enhance our solutions as we continue to realise our vision of being the region’s most innovative financial services organisation.”

Careem, for its part, started working with AWS to help it expand to 14 countries in under seven years.

“When we started building Careem, we knew that the ability to scale fast, in a secure and reliable way, would be critical to our long term success,” said Careem co-founder Magnus Olsson. “Thanks to AWS, we have been able to focus our efforts on geographical and new vertical expansion and to innovate new technologies and services.”

Olsson added that “we will now be able to benefit from data centres with lower latency in the region.”

Public sector entities in the region using AWS include various Bahraini government ministries, Kuwait’s Communications and Information Technology Regulatory Authority, Tamkeen and Mumtalakat.

Additionally, AWS is launching a new ‘direct connect’ location in Bahrain, joining two others – and two Amazon CloudFront Edge – locations in the UAE. These centres make it easier for customers to establish a dedicate private network connection between AWS and their data centre, office or colocation environment. AWS is also offering instructor-led training programmes for customers and partners.

According to IDC’s lastest Middle East CIO survey, 73 percent or organisations in the region are undergoing formal digital transformations, with total spending on public cloud services expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 27.2 percent to reach $5.2 billion in 2023.

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