Data Centre Growth in Gulf States Levels Off

Providers raise utilisation levels on existing data centre assets

DataCentrePricing.Com’s latest Middle East Data Centre 2017 to 2020 report finds that Data Centre Providers in the six Gulf States (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE) are reducing investment in new data centres in favour of expanding their existing data centre facilities.

In the report DataCentrePricing.Com has identified 32 third-party data centre providers with 70 data centre facilities in the six Gulf States, with the majority of facilities located in Saudia Arabia and the UAE. The two countries of Saudi Arabia and the UAE account for almost two-thirds of data centre raised floor space and data centre customer power (DCCP) in the region.

Over the past year, there has been selected expansion of existing data centre facilities with additional space and power – and also monitoring capabilities – in the region. Data centre providers, including Batelco Data Centre (Bahrain), Ooredoo Data Centre (Qatar), Integrated Technology Co. (ITC - Saudi Arabia) and Equinix (UAE).

The Gulf States have also seen the expansion of the global cloud service providers - with IBM Cloud, Oracle Cloud and Alibaba Cloud establishing cloud nodes in the region. AWS (Amazon Web Services) has opened sales offices in Dubai (UAE) and Manama (Bahrain).

Local cloud providers are also offering cloud services, typically reselling Microsoft Cloud, Google Cloud and AWS Cloud services.

The Middle East region is seeing growth in other parts of the IT ecosystem, with governments in Oman and Qatar investing in national fibre broadband projects with some also trialing cloud hosting as part of an eGovernment initiative for selected government departments.

Although the fall in the global oil price has reduced the number of new-build data centre projects in the Middle East region, some data centre providers believe that the squeeze on capital intensive data centre build-outs is assisting the growth in third-party hosting services from both enterprises and government departments for the first time – with hosted IT and cloud gaining acceptance.

"DataCentrePricing.Com finds that Rackspace and m2 space rentals remain high – with standard Rackspace ranging over USD 1,000 (without power)". The high cost of local in-country fibre services can be a significant barrier to providing connectivity between data centre facilities in the Gulf States – with monthly rentals being significantly higher than in Europe or Asia.

Overall, the new DataCentrePricing.Com report finds that the Gulf State countries are undergoing a period of transition, as capital spending is reduced more efficiency is being sought from existing IT assets, and is spurring the use of cloud services as well as third-party data centre facilities.


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