Continuing our investment in the Middle East: A New AWS Region coming to UAE in first half 2022

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I am excited to share that AWS plans to open a new infrastructure region in the Middle East in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Launching in the first half of 2022, the new AWS Middle East (UAE) Region will consist of three Availability Zones and become AWS’s second region in the Middle East with the existing AWS Region in Bahrain, providing customers more choice and flexibility to leverage advanced technologies from the world’s leading cloud. The (UAE) Region will enable local customers with data residency requirements to store their data in the UAE while also providing even lower latency across the country. Organizations using this region will also be able to access advanced technologies from the broadest and deepest suite of cloud services to drive innovation including compute, storage, networking, database, analytics, machine learning, Internet of Things (IoT), mobile services, and more.

Our investment in the UAE is not new. It is an extension to our existing investment in the country, which includes two AWS Direct Connect locations and two Amazon CloudFront edge locations launched in 2018. We also continue to build teams of account managers, technical account managers, partner managers, systems engineers, solutions architects, professional services, and more roles to help customers of all sizes move to AWS.

The upcoming region builds on the great momentum of cloud adoption in the Middle East by providing more choice for customers in the UAE, enabling organizations of all sizes to innovate faster and serve end-users with even lower latency across the region. The UAE is a thriving global hub for entrepreneurs, e-governments, and multi-national businesses, and we look forward to seeing how AWS technology will support and accelerate their innovation.

AWS has a long history of working with customers in the UAE, including some of the region’s leading and most innovative organizations. In February, Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) successfully launched the Hope Probe, the first interplanetary mission for the UAE. AWS is powering the data journey of the mission, enabling data to be processed and analyzed from the probe’s instruments and accessed by the global scientific community in less than 20 minutes. First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB), which is the UAE’s largest bank, has put in place a cloud-first approach as one of the fundamental principles of their technology strategy. FAB has been using AWS Outposts for both development andtest and production workloads, which has accelerated its digital transformation in the cloud and on-premises with 50% improved time-to-market. The upcoming AWS Region in the UAE will help FAB realize their cloud ambitions while being fully compliant with local regulation.

Large enterprises, such as Majid Al Futtaim, the leading shopping mall, communities, retail and leisure company across the Middle East, Africa and Central Asia, are choosing AWS to innovate and become more agile. Leveraging advanced analytics and machine learning services such as Amazon SageMaker, they built predictive models that are empowering the business to uncover new insights to drive ongoing improvements and better customer experiences. The new platform has helped the business become more agile and has driven operational efficiencies with 80% improvement in go-to-market speed, as well as contributed to multimillion-dirham cost savings projected over the next five years.

Startups have also been benefiting from AWS to build their businesses and grow. Anghami has relied on AWS infrastructure to grow from a small startup to the number one streaming platform in the Middle East, with more than 70 million users who have instant access to over 57 million songs that is on its way to listing on the NASDAQ,. Building on AWS has also freed Anghami to innovate and expand beyond audio to other forms of entertainment like video, which has grown to over 50,000 daily streams.

I am very excited by the opportunities that the new region in the UAE will bring to organizations, such as the National Bank of Ras Al Khaimah (RAKBANK), which is one of UAE’s most dynamic financial institutions. Peter England, CEO of RAKBANK, said, “Digitalization has changed the financial industry and transformed the way customers interact with their banks. RAKBANK is committed to digital transformation across all aspects of our services, and the scalability, increased connectivity, and security of AWS is in line with our digital transformation strategy as we build new digital banking and investment solutions and make them more accessible to a wider audience. We are very excited about the arrival of an AWS Region in the UAE, which we expect will help us reduce time to market for new services by 50%, and will provide cost savings by more than 30%. This will give us the opportunity to innovate at a much faster rate to give our customers a seamless and holistic banking experience.”

I look forward to supporting RAKBANK and many other customers in the UAE and the Middle East in realizing the full potential for the AWS Cloud to innovate, grow, and better serve their customers.