Dubai-based investment company Meeras and Alibaba’s cloud computing plant to set up a joint venture firm specialising in systems integration with a focus on big data and cloud-based services.
The yet-to-be named joint venture, headquartered in Dubai, will focus on providing applications development services to private and public sector clients, which includes advising on service oriented architecture strategy and big data analytics application.
Meeras group chairman Abdulla Al Habbai said the move will complement other initiatives aimed at transforming Dubai into a smart city and ICT hub.
“We strongly believe that the new company will alter the information technology landscape of the region,” Al Habbai said. “Alibaba, our chosen partner has an excellent global track record of offering world-class services to clients. Together, we aim to raise industry standards and provide state-of-the-art technology solutions that contribute to translating the objectives of our visionary leadership.”
The joint venture will also see the construction of a local Tier III cloud datacentre to power some of the services the two companies create, as well as at a later point commercial and retail space in the vicinity, in a bid to attract startups and other firms to the region.
Jack Ma, founder and executive chairman of Alibaba Group said: “As the world evolves, I believe the information technology era is moving towards the data technology era. Dubai’s advanced infrastructure and economic strength is a good match for our technology edge, and with Meraas we will be able to provide local entrepreneurs with the vital infrastructure that will ignite innovation and help them to succeed.”
Alibaba said the move will also help the company capitalise on growth in local IT spending, with the company citing a recent IDC study that suggests regional IT spend reaching $270bn in 2015 and growing at around nine per cent annually, the second-fastest globally.