Amazon Web Services (AWS) launches its first Middle East Region in Bahrain

Amazon Web Services (AWS) today announced the opening of AWS Middle East Region in Bahrain. The company that now has 22 geographic regions around the world had announced its plans to launch a Middle East Region in Bahrain in late 2017, saying that it will be launched in early 2019.

“Starting today, developers, startups, and enterprises, as well as government, education, and non-profit organizations can run their applications and serve end-users from data centers located in the Middle East, as well as leverage advanced technologies from the world’s leading cloud, to drive innovation,” said Amazon Web Services in a statement this morning.

AWS Regions all around are composed of Availability Zones which are comprised of at least one data center and are located in different geographic locations with enough distance to reduce the risk of a single event impacting business continuity. For Bahrain, AWS has three Availability Zones at launch, the company said in a statement.

Andy Jassy, CEO, Amazon Web Services, commenting on the occasion, said, “The cloud has the chance to unlock digital transformation in the Middle East. Today, we are launching advanced and secure technology infrastructure that matches the scale of our other AWS Regions around the world and are already seeing strong demand in the Middle East for AWS technologies like artificial intelligence and machine learning, data analytics, IoT, and much more. We are excited to see how our cloud technology will provide new ways for governments to better engage with citizens, for enterprises to innovate for their next phase of growth, and for entrepreneurs to build businesses and compete on a global scale.”

AWS claims to have tens of thousands of customers in the Middle East & North Africa including startups (if we may call them that) like Anghami,, Careem, EKar, Fetchr, Jeeny, Mawdoo3, Property Finder, StarzPlay, and Vezeeta. Some of the enterprises using AWS services in MENA, according to the statement, include Al Tayer Group, Arab Banking Corporation (Bank ABC), Aramex, Bahrain Bourse, Bank Al-Etihad, Batelco, Emirates NBD, Flydubai, Gulf News, MBC Group, OSN, Seera Group, Union Insurance, Virgin Middle East, and many more. AWS is also being used by public sector organizations in the region, including Government of Bahrain’s Ministries, such as the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Information Affairs, Ministry of Labor and Social Development, and more.

Magnus Olsson, co-founder and Chief Experience Officer of Careem, that has been working with AWS since 2012, commenting on opening of AWS Middle East Region, said, “When we started building Careem, we knew that the ability to scale fast, and in a secure and reliable way, would be critical to our long term success. As one of AWS’s early adopters in the region, we have grown with them. With the opening of the new AWS Middle East Region, we will now be able to benefit from data centers with lower latency in the region.

“AWS’s commitment to our region shows the enormous potential of the local technology scene and will be instrumental to the success of the new wave of startups to come. We look forward to having them as a strong contributor to the Middle East tech ecosystem,” he added.

Abdulla Qassem, Group Chief Operating Officer, Emirates NBD, one of the leading banking groups of the region, said, “Emirates NBD has been collaborating with AWS and taking advantage of AWS’s technologies and innovation practices to develop personalized, real-time banking experiences. The new AWS Middle East Region will allow us to further experiment and enhance our solutions as we continue to realize our vision of being the region’s most innovative financial services organization that is making banking more easy and intuitive for customers.”

AWS today is also launching a new AWS Direct Connect location in Bahrain. Direct Connect enables AWS customers to establish a direct private network connection between AWS and their data center, office, or colocation environment. The company already has two AWS Direct Connect locations in the UAE.

Developers and businesses can access the AWS Middle East (Bahrain) Region beginning today.

Microsoft had also opened its first two Middle Eastern data center regions in the Middle East (Dubai & Abu Dhabi) last month.

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