Stock Abu Dhabi skyline
Abu Dhabi’s digital economy will be boosted through the launch of Amazon Web Services’ (AWS) cloud infrastructure region in the UAE. Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: Abu Dhabi’s digital economy will be boosted through the launch of Amazon Web Services’ (AWS) cloud infrastructure region in the UAE.

The initiative is part of the Abu Dhabi Investment Office’s (ADIO) efforts to attract investments that build technology capabilities.

The arrival of the AWS Middle East (UAE) region in the first half of 2022 will accelerate cloud adoption and empower organisations to innovate faster. It will further enhance the access organisations have to advanced technologies from the world’s leading cloud services provider, helping them to innovate and digitally transform across Abu Dhabi and the wider UAE.

Knowledge economy

The collaboration highlights the growing partnership between the public and private sectors in Abu Dhabi, which is accelerating breakthroughs and advancing large-scale digital transformation, strengthening the emirate’s position as a global hub for innovation. As part of its investment, AWS will be collaborating with ADIO across Abu Dhabi’s knowledge economy on various ecosystem and education initiatives, training and startup enablement programmes.

Already ranked the Smartest City in the Middle East according to IMD’s Smart City Index 2020, Abu Dhabi continues to strengthen its digital infrastructure and capacity to support capabilities across the emirate’s rapidly expanding innovation ecosystem. The upcoming launch of the AWS Middle East (UAE) Region is a continuation of ADIO’s efforts to build Abu Dhabi’s ICT sector and bring key skills and capabilities that unlock opportunities across all other innovation-focused sectors.

Earlier this year, ADIO partnered with ICT leaders, music streaming service Anghami and cloud technology consulting and management company Bespin, under its Innovation Programme. Underscoring Abu Dhabi’s role as a launchpad for innovators, Anghami is set to list on the Nasdaq via a merger with a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC).

Support to innovation

ADIO is supercharging support for innovation-focused businesses by ensuring that companies across all sizes and sectors have the right tools and opportunities they need to succeed. In 2021 alone, ADIO has provided more than Dh735 million (USD 200 million) of support to ICT companies based in or setting up in Abu Dhabi to help them innovate, while also providing them with a raft of other non-financial incentives including immigration and licensing support, connections with education providers and dedicated investor care services.

“Abu Dhabi is leading the region’s digital transformation, with the emirate’s robust infrastructure and connectivity powering its thriving business ecosystem and cementing its status as the smartest city in the Middle East. With the upcoming launch of the new AWS Region in the UAE, smart is about to get smarter,” said Dr. Tariq Bin Hendi, Director General of ADIO .

“ADIO is collaborating with AWS to bring market-leading cloud computing technology to the country, leveraging the full potential of the emirate’s smart infrastructure. Through our ICT partnerships, we are executing on our mission to ‘turn sand into silicon’ by driving improved capacities and capabilities that deliver opportunities for businesses across Abu Dhabi, the UAE and the region.”

Data residency

The new AWS Middle East (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. This will also increase access for local organisations to advanced technologies and a full suite of cloud services including analytics, artificial intelligence, computing, database, Internet of Things (IoT), machine learning, mobile services, serverless technologies, storage and more to drive innovation.

“The new AWS Region will give organisations in the UAE local access to the most advanced cloud technology, empowering them with tools to build innovative solutions that accelerate digital transformation. Critical to realising the full potential of cloud computing is having the right skills,” said Vinod Krishnan, Head of Middle East and North Africa, AWS.