In a press release today, Microsoft announced that it will open a new cloud data center area in Qatar. With this expansion, Microsoft has reached 55 cloud regions in 20 countries and regions around the world. Qatar’s new cloud data center region is expected to be operational in 2021, starting with Azure, with Office 365, Dynamics 365 and Power Platform to be opened later.
Photo from Microsoft
The creation of this new data center area will give Qatar’s public and private sector access to more reliable and resilient cloud services. “The partnership with Microsoft is an important part of accelerating the digital transformation of the Government of Qatar and an important driving force for the development of the Qatar National Vision 2030,” said Jassim Saif Ahmed Al-Sulaiti, Qatar’s Minister of Transport and Communications. “
Microsoft said at the time that the expansion was partly due to growing IT demand from customers in the region, including Emirates Airlines. In addition, it responds to the “data storage” needs of customers who are unable to host sensitive services abroad due to privacy and data protection issues. These data centers will support Microsoft Azure users, Office 365, Dynamics 365, and other services. Microsoft also said at the time that the two data centers would serve the GCC countries and other international markets.
Analysts say Microsoft’s moves are being spurred by Amazon’s AWS cloud service. AWS previously announced plans to build a data center in Bahrain, which is expected to launch and offer online services earlier this year.
By contrast, Goe has yet to build a data center in the Middle East, where the cloud computing services market is relatively small, but the region’s cloud computing business is expected to grow at a 27 percent pace in the next few years.