The UAE’s biggest telecom operator e& and artificial intelligence provider G42 officially merged their data centre services under Khazna Data Centres as they seek to cater to increasing digital infrastructure requirements in the region.
With the consolidation, Khazna now operates 12 data centres, making it the largest data centre provider in the Middle East and North Africa, the companies said in a joint statement on Monday.
G42 and e& (formerly known as Etisalat) had signed the initial partnership to merge their data centres in October.
The completion of the deal will support the digital transformation of enterprises, governments and societies, said Salvador Anglada, chief executive of e& enterprise.
“This agreement sets the foundation for accelerating the digital conversation in the data centre space,” he said.
Data consumption has increased over the past two years owing to remote work practices and online learning trends that resulted from the coronavirus pandemic, fuelling the adoption of cloud services.
The data centre market in the Mena region is expected to grow at a compound annual rate of about 8 per cent to hit $5 billion by the end of 2026, according to a study by Arizton Advisory and Intelligence.
The UAE leads the region in terms of attracting investment into data centres, the study showed.
Several global players are establishing data centres in the region as the cloud market picks up. In 2019, Microsoft opened two data centres, one each in Abu Dhabi and Dubai. In 2020, IBM unveiled two data centres in the UAE, making its first such foray into the Middle East and Africa.
Amazon Web Services, the world’s biggest cloud storage service provider, said last year it will open three data centres in the UAE in 2022.
Khazna is committed to “empowering businesses and large-scale organisations in the UAE to accelerate their digital transformation journeys”, the statement said.
The company has 13 data centres under construction with three more in the pipeline, amounting for a total of more than “300-megawatt planned capacity by the end of 2023” across its sites in the UAE.
“By housing G42 and e& data centre capabilities under one roof … we will effectively deliver a unique portfolio of infrastructure services … paving the way for the fully digital future,” Hassan AlNaqbi, chief executive of Khazna Data Centres, said.
The alliance between G42 and e& will help Khazna “attract new global players to the UAE, contributing to the development of the local and regional digital ecosystem and economies”, said Peng Xiao, group chief executive at G42.