Microsoft's Azure cloud tech venture sets up shop in the UAE

Microsoft's Azure cloud tech venture sets up shop in the UAE

Microsoft Azure has opened its first cloud data centre in the Middle East.

In a blog post, VP of Azure Global Tom Keane said that the Big M had set up shop in the Abu Dhabi and Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, bringing Azure, Office 365 and Dynamics 365 to the Middle East.

In doing so, the Big M has beaten its big competition in the cloud tech space - Google and Amazon Web Services - to launching in this region. This is a potentially lucrative move for Microsoft as Azure and its cloud business continues to become more lucrative as time moves on.

Microsoft's Azure business saw an 82.4 per cent increase in revenue

It's also important for the roll-out of its xCloud game streaming platform, which was announced in October 2018 and uses the company says will use its Azure data centres to beam video game footage to any device. That's set to roll out in beta in October of this year. 

Google said during an earnings call in April 2018 that it set to open a data centre in Saudi Arabia, while Amazon has plans to roll out a cloud region in Bahrain at some point in 2019.

The International Data Corporation reckons that cloud tech could create over 500,000 jobs in the Middle East between 2017 and 2022.

"The opening of the new cloud regions in Abu Dhabi and Dubai marks the first time Microsoft will deliver cloud services directly from data centre locations in UAE and expands upon Microsoft’s existing investments in the Gulf and the wider Middle East region," Microsoft's Keane wrote.

"By delivering the complete Microsoft cloud – Azure, Office 365, and Dynamics 365 – from data centres in a given geography, we offer scalable, highly available, and resilient cloud services for organisations while helping them meet their data residency, security, and compliance needs."

Microsoft recently signed a partnership with PlayStation maker Sony to use its Azure network.

PCGamesInsider Contributing Editor

Alex Calvin is a freelance journalist who writes about the business of games. He started out at UK trade paper MCV in 2013 and left as deputy editor over three years later. In June 2017, he joined Steel Media as the editor for new site In October 2019 he left this full-time position at the company but still contributes to the site on a daily basis. He has also written for, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.