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Middle East: The Pivot To Digital

Updated: Dec 6, 2021

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Three factors in particular are creating a hot market for data centre design, build and operation across the region.

They are the strategic commitment of governments across the region to digital; increasingly connected, digitally-savvy businesses and consumers; and the lasting impact of the COVID pandemic.

"Finding and securing land and then quickly building and operating the data centres that are the foundation of this emerging digital economy, has never been so important."

Many of the region’s governments and rulers have committed to bold policies to catapult their nations into the digital age. Wide ranging initiatives including Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030, Dubai’s Vision 2021 and the New Kuwait Vision 2035 include detailed plans to digitise government services and to invest in the infrastructure to support. And these are just the latest iterations of a consistent investment in digital services. As reported by The Middle East Institute, In 2013, the UAE launched its ‘One App’ which provides digital access to over 4,000 government services from paying bills to renewing visas. Saudi Arabia has created the Unified National Platform to deliver 3,300 governments services. The declaration of Riyadh as a digital city at the end of last year is sure to spur yet more investment and innovation across the region.

The region is also pioneering the roll-out of next generation technologies from 5G to AI and Internet of Things. Saudi Arabia has already deployed over 6,500 5G towers making it one of the global leaders in 5G, whilst Ciscoresearch suggests cities in the Gulf States will see the fastest growth in M2M application at more than 40%. All of these innovations and investments are driving the demand for data centres in the region.

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