Middle East businesses welcome Amazon Web Services region launch

Bahrain AWS region, with three datacentres, links Middle East to AWS's global network and will help to accelerate digital transformation

Amazon Web Services (AWS) has connected the Middle East to its global network with the launch of its Bahrain AWS region.

The cloud supplier already has infrastructure in the region, but the launch of the Bahrain AWS region, with three datacentres, will connect to its global network.

This will bring the Middle East region up to par with its other global AWS regions as the Middle East accelerates its digital transformation.

Andy Jassy, CEO at AWS, said the cloud could unlock digital transformation in the Middle East. “Today, we are launching advanced and secure technology infrastructure that matches the scale of our other AWS regions around the world and are already seeing strong demand in the Middle East for AWS technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, data analytics, IoT [internet of things] and much more,” he said.

Developers, startups and enterprises, government, education and non-profit organisations can now run their applications and serve end-users from datacentres located in the Middle East.

In September 2017, AWS set its sights on a Bahrain-based region when it set up a hub there.

Middle East organisations that use AWS include Al Tayer Group, Anghami, Aramex, Bahrain Bourse, the Bahraini government, Classera, Dubizzle, Emirates NBD, Fetchr, Flydubai, Hassan Allam, MBC Group, Emirates NBD and Virgin Middle East.

AWS attracts customers of all sizes in the region. For example, delivery app service startup Fetchr runs its entire technology infrastructure on AWS, while United Arab Emirates (UAE) bank Emirates NBD is working with AWS with technologies such as AI and machine learning, data analytics and natural language processing as part of its strategy to engage with customers better and simplify banking.

Abdulla Qassem, COO at Emirates NBD said: “The new AWS Middle East region will allow us to further experiment and enhance our solutions.”

Read more about digital transformations in the Middle East

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia’s Abdul Latif Jameel, which operates in sectors including transportation, energy and environmental services, financial services, land and real estate, said the new AWS region is an opportunity to bring more efficiency and innovation to its business.

Faisal Alsamannoudi, vice-chairman at Abdul Latif Jameel Commercial Development Company, said: “We started our AWS journey with Abdul Latif Jameel Commercial Development Company in Jeddah by migrating critical HR management systems covering seven different companies – a process that took us less than one month and brought savings up to 60%, compared to our previous solution.”

In the public sector, the Bahraini government said the new AWS region will help to speed up its migration of government services.  

And Mohammed Ali Al Qaed, CEO of the Bahrain Information and eGovernment Authority, said: “Bahrain is committed to becoming a country in the cloud and we will be able to accelerate our journey with the launch of the AWS region in Bahrain.”

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