Dubai FDI Supports Phillipspage Associates’ Choice Of Dubai For Its First Global Office Outside Europe

Press release
Published October 11th, 2021 - 11:47 GMT
Dubai FDI Supports Phillipspage Associates’ Choice Of Dubai For Its First Global Office Outside Europe
Simon Cathrine.
The Dubai Investment Development Agency continues to support PhillipsPage Associates, an international, multi-disciplinary engineering consultancy, in its choice of Dubai as the location for its first international office outside Europe.

The Dubai Investment Development Agency (Dubai FDI), the investment promotion agency of Dubai Economy, continues to support PhillipsPage Associates, an international, multi-disciplinary engineering consultancy, in its choice of Dubai as the location for its first international office outside Europe. PhillipsPage Associates, which specialises in mission critical technology and data centres as well as energy-efficient and sustainable residential and hospitality projects, will leverage Dubai’s locational advantage to broaden its reach into the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) as well as the Asia-Pacific (APAC) markets. 

Fahad Al Gergawi, Chief Executive Officer of Dubai FDI, said: “PhillipsPage Associates has a sterling reputation and experience across multiple industries, with a focus on mission critical data centers, which has emerged as a sector with huge potential in Dubai due to the ongoing digital transformation.  Dubai FDI has worked in close collaboration with the company to convey the Dubai Advantage and provide data, information, and support in setting up its Dubai operations. We are pleased that PhillipsPage Associates has decided to make Dubai their MENA-APAC headquarters.”

Al Gergawi added: “Dubai’s digital transformation journey began when the city announced the first ICT strategy in 1999 and has followed through with initiatives such as m-Government, Smart City, open data, blockchain for government transactions, and other leading-edge initiatives. Dubai’s position at the forefront of technology adoption in the region has emerged because digitalization is an integral part of government services and the economic development strategy. The UAE has accelerated its post-COVID economic recovery in multiple sectors, including technology, construction, hospitality, and others.”

PhillipsPage Associates has cited many factors leading to its decision to opt for Dubai as the location for its MENA-APAC headquarters. Dubai’s focus on constantly improving its physical and business infrastructure continues to attract many regional and international large and hyperscale data center operators and construction consultants to fulfil the regional and global demand, especially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The London-headquartered company has added Dubai to a distinguished list of major cities in which it operates, including Paris, Dublin, and Frankfurt.  

The expansion of the UAE’s data centre sector has been made possible by the digital transformation of services and the proactive measures instituted to minimize the pandemic’s impact on lives and livelihoods, resulting in several such new businesses being formed in Dubai during these challenging times.  At the same time, the post-pandemic economic recovery and the run-up to Expo 2020 Dubai has witnessed sharp growth in the city’s construction and hospitality sectors.

Simon Cathrine, Regional Manager, Middle East at PhillipsPage Associates, said: “We are very excited to launch the new office in Dubai. This is a great opportunity during some of the most challenging times the world has faced in generations. During the pandemic era, the continued development of the data centre sector has seen some of the world’s leading names set up operations in Dubai, resulting in expanding opportunities for companies like PhillipsPage Associates. This development has been made possible by the leadership of Dubai implementing proactive and measures not only to minimize the human and economic impact of the pandemic but also to ensure business continuity and growth in the recovery period.”

Cathrine added: “It has been a pleasure to work with the team at Dubai FDI while assessing where we set up the core of our MENA-APAC operations. We are impressed with the team’s command over the relevant data and information required to make the decision. We are also grateful to them for the support they gave us in our set-up phase as well as the aftercare we have received.”

Global demand for data centres has increased as data is increasingly used to enhance efficiency, streamline operations, and derive strategic insights with a heightened level of accuracy in companies and governments. Driven by the accelerated adoption of digitalization and the heightened demand for contactless solutions and cloud services, direct investments in digital transformation are expected to reach USD 6.8 trillion between 2020 and 2023, and 65% of the world's GDP is set to be digitalized by 2022, according to the International Data Corporation (IDC).

Localised data centres are part of the digital infrastructure that will underpin this growth in the region. The Middle East is expected to witness some of the strongest levels of growth in the global Hyperscale Data Centre Market well into the next decade. Data centers require specific real estate provisions including build-to-suit industrial units, repurposed industrial or office units, or even build-to-lease data center real estate, with substantial amounts of power input and advanced connectivity in very secure and stable environments. 

In February 2021, Khazna, the UAE’s largest supplier of commercial wholesale data centre services, announced that it will build multiple new data centres and increase its capacity five-fold over the next four years to provide vital infrastructure as companies and government agencies accelerate digitalisation. The company operates three data centres with a combined capacity of 40 megawatts; with the new expansion plan, it will have a total of 200 MW of IT load capacity by 2023. Multiple new data centres will be built in locations across the UAE and additional capacity will be increased at its current sites.

At 18.75 megawatts per million people, Dubai enjoys the highest power usage and capacity in the region, compared to 3.41 MW for the GCC, and 0.26 MW in the wider Middle East and Africa, making it ideally positioned to serve as a location hub for cloud-based, on-demand computing service providers.

The real estate sector contributed 7.2% to Dubai’s GDP in 2019, and the sector achieved an added value of more than AED 29.4 billion, with a growth rate of 3.3% compared to 2018. Proactive measures by the government, digital transformation, and technological innovation have ensured the sector’s resilience during the COVID-19 pandemic. The digital economy is the focus of many initiatives including the Dubai Chamber for Digital Economy, which highlights the transformation of Dubai into a global centre for the digital economy, which contributes about 4.3% of the UAE’s GDP. The rapid transition to a digital environment has also strengthened Dubai and the UAE’s response to the challenges arising from the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Background Information

Department of Economic Development

The Department of Economic Development (DED) is the government body entrusted to set and drive the economic agenda of the emirate of Dubai, UAE. The DED supports the structural transformation of Dubai into a diversified, innovative service-based economy that aims to improve the business environment and accelerate productivity growth.

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