Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba opens MENA's first public cloud data center in Dubai
Alibaba Cloud has established a strong reputation as a leading cloud services provider in China. (Twitter)
Alibaba Cloud, the cloud computing arm of Alibaba Group, launched its new data centre in Dubai that will be operated by Yvolv, a joint venture between Alibaba Cloud and Meraas Holdings.
The first full-fledged public cloud in the region, which is hosted at a local data centre, will offer a portfolio of services to address the increasing demand for affordable and secure cloud computing in the Middle East.
The launch further consolidates the trade relations between UAE and China. The UAE is home to more than 300,000 Chinese nationals working and living in the emirates, while over 4,200 Chinese companies, 356 trade agencies and more than 2,500 Chinese trade labels are registered with the UAE Ministry of Economy.
"We are excited that our global footprint has now expanded to the Middle East which is also a major area covered by China's 'One Belt, One Road' initiative. With the Dubai data centre, our global cloud network will be able to meet enterprises which are going global," said Simon Hu, president of Alibaba Cloud.
"As a global leader in cloud computing and big data, we recognise the shift in the region's demand from clunky IT equipment and servers to streamlined cloud computing solutions," said Sicheng Yu, vice-president, Alibaba Group and general manager of Alibaba Cloud Global.
By enabling the digital transformation of businesses, Yvolv will complement Alibaba Cloud's offering to serve customers as they migrate their day-to-day IT operations to the cloud.
Yasser Zeineldin, CEO of eHosting DataFort, said: "Alibaba's entry in the UAE is to expand its global foot print but currently there are already 10 to 12 commercial players who are more active in the private than in the public cloud realm. With public uptake very limited, there is huge potential on the private side. There is a preference for community as well as private cloud, which are more opted for by enterprises and SMEs."
Alibaba Cloud's portfolio at the new data centre will include IaaS (infrastructure as a service) cloud services, including elastic computing, storage and databases which cater to all types of customers.
Jereon Schlosser, managing director, Equinix Mena, said: "Alibaba's UAE foray makes it obvious that the UAE is geared up to match rising demand in the region as the data centre market is only starting to grow. There is room for everyone."
Some of the existing regional and global customers of Alibaba Cloud are OneMT, MenaMobile, VSun, Dahua and JollyChic.
Intel, who has collaborated with Alibaba Group globally in the areas of cloud, big data and artificial intelligence, has joined the event to highlight how cloud usage is driving transformative change across all industries.
"As a long-term strategic partner of Alibaba Cloud, we are proud to see Alibaba Cloud's footprint expand into the MEA region. We are excited to have the latest Intel cloud technology running in the Dubai data centre to provide superior performance to users in the region," said Kit Ho Chee, vice-president and general manager of cloud service provider sales at Intel.
Alibaba Cloud recently signed a number of partnerships in the region. The most recent deals are with Detecon, a Saudi data centre services provider, and Chinese Business Hub, which is designed to facilitate the move of Chinese SMEs to the UAE.
"Alibaba Cloud has established a strong reputation as a leading cloud services provider in China. At Yvolv, we are certain that this success can be replicated in the region. We remain steadfast in our commitment to articulating the objectives outlined in the Dubai Smart City Initiative and the UAE Vision 2021, and the opening of this data centre is a step in the right direction," said Fahad Al Hajeri, CEO of Yvolv.
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