Microsoft opens first data centres in the Middle East

19 Jun 2019

Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Image: © Alexandr Vlassyuk/

Microsoft’s first data centres in the Middle East will offer access to the company’s usual suite of services, including Azure cloud computing.

Microsoft has announced that its new data centre regions in Abu Dhabi and Dubai are now fully online. This marks the first data centres regions for the company in the Middle East.

The centres will offer local access to Microsoft’s variety of services including Office 365 and Azure cloud computing. Support for Dynamics 365 and Microsoft’s Power Platform will arrive later in 2019.

“In our experience, local data centre infrastructure supports and stimulates economic development for both customers and partners alike, enabling companies, governments and regulated industries to realise the benefits of the cloud for innovation and new projects, as well as bolstering the technology ecosystem that supports these projects,” said Tom Keane, Microsoft corporate VP of Azure Global.

“We anticipate the cloud services delivered from UAE to have a positive impact on job creation, entrepreneurship and economic growth across the region.”

With this announcement, Microsoft has become the first of the ‘Big Three’ cloud providers to open a data centre in the Middle East, beating out Amazon and Google.

Microsoft first announced plans to open these centres in the UAE in March 2018. Shortly after this, Google revealed in a quarterly earnings report that it would bring its Google Cloud infrastructure to Saudi Arabia, though this has yet to come to fruition.

Meanwhile, Amazon Web Services (AWS) has similarly announced plans to break ground on global infrastructure in the Middle East, particularly in Bahrain. However, no confirmed opening date has been provided despite the company previously saying it will be in place by early 2019.

Earlier this year, Microsoft opened its first data centres in Africa, unveiling hubs in Cape Town and Johannesburg, also in this instance being the first global provider to bring data centres to these regions.

Microsoft recently moved more than $50bn in assets from Singapore to Ireland, effectively making Ireland the company’s capital hub for both Europe and the Asia Pacific region.

Eva Short was a journalist at Silicon Republic