Tencent follows Amazon with its first Mena data centre in Bahrain

The facility is expected to open by the end of 2021

Tencent Cloud, the cloud business arm of China-based technology firm Tencent, is setting up its first data centre in the Middle East and North Africa as it looks to tap into the growing demand for cloud services in the region.

The company is partnering with the Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB) to establish the data centre, which will open by the end of this year, the company said in a statement on Monday.

“Tencent Cloud is excited to collaborate … we will launch all necessary steps … to provide better coverage all over the Mena region, fully supporting Bahrain’s cloud-first strategy,” Poshu Yeung, senior vice president of Tencent Cloud international, said.

The GCC's public cloud market is expected to more than double in value to reach $2.4 billion by 2024, up from $956 million last year, according to International Data Corporation.

In 2019, Amazon Web Services opened three data centres in Bahrain – its first in the Middle East. Germany's SAP has three centres, in Dubai, Riyadh and Dammam, which house servers for local cloud computing clients.

For regional enterprises, moving to a cloud system hosted by a specialised company is cheaper than creating their own infrastructure of servers, hardware and security networks.

Several global players are establishing data centres in the region as cloud market picks up.

“We are confident that Tencent will be able to leverage on the kingdom’s regional connectivity, local talent and business friendly environment to expand their services and reach clients across the region,” Khalid Humaidan, chief executive of Bahrain EDB – the country’s investment promotion agency, said.