Aliyun Teams Up With Meraas To Deliver Cloud in the Middle East

Several weeks ago, CloudWedge wrote about Alibaba’s new cloud service called Aliyun. The cloud provider has already attracted global attention which has led to several strategic partnerships.
The latest partnership involves a company based out of Dubai called Meraas. It’s being reported that Aliyun and Meraas will team up to target businesses and governments in the Middle East and North Africa. By teaming up, Aliyun looks to become one of the premier cloud providers in this region.
Experts refer to the Middle East/North African region as MENA. The deal highlights the first move by Aliyun to become a premier cloud provider for this region. Sources say that the joint venture will be based out of a Dubai. With Aliyun providing infrastructure and Meraas providing cloud expertise, businesses and governments within the MENA region will be able to use cloud based application, big data and more.
The chairman of Meraas, Abhulla Al Habbai, mentions that he wants to contribute to the “Smart” city initiative currently underway in Dubai. Al Habbai says the wants to connect “transport, communications, infrastructure, electricity, economic services, and urban planning” services into the cloud. This transformation of Dubai into a cloud connected smart city will take place over the next two years. Over 1,000 services provided by local government will be connected to the cloud.
Other details of the Aliyun and Meraas joint services agreement include a data center being built in Dubai. Surrounding the data center will be a technology hub, which will contain both commercial and residential spaces.
Analysts say that Aliyun and Meraas are hitting the MENA market at the right time. IT spending is projected to rise over 9% YoY. Industries are expected to heavily adopt SaaS products in this region, which will account for a sharp 29% rise in overall spending. Research by IDC says that the MENA market is the 2nd fastest growing cloud market in the world.