Microsoft to open first Middle East cloud data centres in UAE

The skyline of Abu Dhabi UAE
The skyline of Abu Dhabi UAE

15 March, 2018

Although Microsoft does not reveal earnings by region, a year ago it reported that the Middle East and Africa is one of the fastest growing regions in the world for its cloud computing business.

The expansion of Microsoft's substantial cloud presence in Europe is in response to growing customer demand.

Microsoft today announced plans to deliver its Microsoft Cloud services to the region from the company's first datacenters located in the Middle East. French customers can start using Azure and Microsoft Office 365 out of that region as of Wednesday, while support for Dynamics 365 in that region will follow early next year. The giant has deepened their expertise in the Middle East particularly in Abu Dhabi and in Dubai.

Microsoft can now deliver the Microsoft Cloud, comprising Azure, Office 365 and Dynamics 365 from these datacentres, while offering data residency options for customers. The company's engagement with financial institutions and regulators in Switzerland, for example, has resulted in a deeper understanding of the local market, ultimately resulting in Microsoft's intent to be the first global cloud operator to introduce cloud regions in the country - specifically in Geneva and Zurich.

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At the time he said: "I've been here a long time and feel like this is my home; I am happy to be a Gunner for many more years".

"Microsoft has been present in the Middle East for more than two decades and is deeply invested in the region", Sayed Hashish, regional general manager, Microsoft Gulf told Arabian Business. Microsoft said this is a first for an worldwide cloud provider to have a local site in Switzerland, and the move follows consultation with local financial service providers about their needs.

Get Data Sheet, Fortune's technology newsletter. The tradeoff is that they don't control the entire data centers and can't optimize them to be as power efficient as the massive data center facilities companies like Google, Amazon, and Microsoft operate in the U.S.

"If it's economically viable, I'll be happy to talk to you", Keane said when asked about possible Antarctica or Arctic data centers.

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