The middle-east is becoming an important destination for companies across different sectors, and the cloud industry is no exception. Amazon Web Services (AWS) has announced that it will open its first data-center in this region by 2019. Surprisingly, AWS has not chosen the more glamorous and popular Dubai or Abu Dhabi, rather it has chosen to open three data centers in the relatively less-known country of Bahrain.
Currently, AWS is the leading cloud computing provider in the world, but competition is heating up with Microsoft and Google making ambitious plans to take the cloud battle head-on. In the light of this competitive environment, it makes sense for every company to expand its horizons to new markets, and that’s exactly what AWS is also doing.
It is planning to open up data centers in the Nordic region by 2018 followed by more infrastructure and investments in other European countries, China, Hong Kong and India.
You might wonder why the middle-east since a lot of the economies here depend solely on oil. Well, that’s changing because of the dropping oil prices. In fact, Dubai and Abu Dhabi have emerged as top tourist destinations and the governments and kingdoms of these countries are working hard to bring in more businesses for their economic development.
Traditional oil-producing countries like Saudi Arabia are also looking to move beyond their oil export business and are focusing on developing other sectors of their economy. So, they’re welcoming more companies to setup shop here and this means, service providers like AWS follow suit to cater to these companies.
An interesting aspect though is the fact that AWS chose Bahrain over other popular countries to set up its operations. And that’s because Bahrain has always been a stable country with little political turmoil. The chances for it to get embroiled in controversies is also relatively less, unlike what’s happening in countries like Qatar, Iraq and Saudi Arabia.
The regime is business-friendly and is wooing companies to start operations here. To top it all, the cost of living in Bahrain is far less when compared to cities like Dubai that are truly becoming some of the most expensive places to live and work. As a result, the cost of labor is fairly less. Bahrain is also known for attracting talent from countries like India and Pakistan, so this is an additional incentive to start operations here.
For all these reasons AWS chose Bahrain as a key hub for its presence in the middle east and this is definitely the right move.