Alibaba is considering adding a second datacenter in Dubai, company officials said, as part of the tech giant’s plans to grow its global footprint to challenge Amazon and Microsoft in the cloud.
The company’s first datacenter in the Middle East, also located in Dubai, opened last year and has the capacity to service up to 400,000 companies.
Simon Hu, president of Alibaba Cloud, told reporters recently that the region has the capacity for more datacenters because of the booming pace of digital transformation. A new Dubai-based datacenter could come on board by next year, he said, according to media reports.
“We see great potential here, and hope we can continue to bring our successful experiences that we have learnt in China to the UAE to make it a benchmark for digital transformation in the future,” he said.
Alibaba’s cloud computing division is one of its fastest-growing businesses, and is also growing faster than every other major cloud provider. But Alibaba still lags behind Amazon and Microsoft in terms of market share and has been rapidly expanding to play catch up.
The company opened its most recent datacenter in Malaysia in late October, and has been scouting locations for a second datacenter in Europe, according to Bloomberg. Alibaba now has 15 data centers globally and more are planned for India and Indonesia in 2018.
Hu said that as the UAE is a prime target for a new data center as it “continues to evolve, we believe that inclusive cloud technology will play an important role across all of the region’s industry sectors.”