AWS announces first Middle East data centre plans

Amazon Web Services has unveiled plans to build its first infrastructure in the Middle East by launching a data centre in Bahrain by early 2019.

The announcement was made by Teresa Carlson, AWS VP of worldwide public sector, who said the firm has identified a gap in its services for the Middle East and Africa region.

The infrastructure region, as AWS calls it, will consist of three “availability zones” at launch. AWS currently has 44 availability zones across 16 regions worldwide, with another 14 planned to go live by the end of 2018. These will be in China, France, Hong Kong, Sweden and the US.

“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,” said Andy Jassy, CEO, Amazon Web Services.

“Some of the most gratifying parts of operating AWS over the last 11 years have been helping thousands of new companies get started, empowering large enterprises to reinvent their customer experiences, and allowing governments and academic institutions to innovate for citizens again. We look forward to making this happen across the Middle East."

AWS said establishing a presence in the Middle East is important as enterprises in the region are increasingly moving mission critical applications to its services. Enterprises such as Actel, Al Tayer Group, Batelco, flydubai, Hassan Allam, Silah Gulf, Union Insurance, and the United Arab Shipping Company are all using AWS, the firm said.

AWS has also announced it will launch an AWS Edge Network Location in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in the first quarter of 2018. This will bring Amazon CloudFront, Amazon Route 53, AWS Shield, and AWS WAF to the region and adds to the 78 points of presence AWS has around the world.

Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Crown Prince of Bahrain, first deputy Prime Minister, and chairman of the Bahrain Economic Development Board, commented: “Today’s announcement is a significant moment for Bahrain and the region. For the Kingdom, the expansion of regional cloud capacity builds upon a business environment that is already driving innovation and entrepreneurship, using technology to accelerate economic diversification in Bahrain. 

“Through improved efficiencies, access to new career opportunities, and helping to enhance the delivery of government services, this marks further realization of the principles of sustainability, fairness, and competitiveness that form the core of Bahrain’s 2030 Vision.”