A report released by Arab Advisors Group in late October found that Middle East data centers are being built more frequently than in previous years and a preference is being shown to colocation facilities. Data centers analyzed for the study were located in the Gulf Cooperation Council countries of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
Colocation facilities were the most common type of Middle East data center being created, with 24 out of 25 facilities offering the service. Cloud services were the second most popular offering, available in 18 Gulf data centers.
Mohammad Al Shawwa, research manager for Arab Advisors Group, noted that the markets within the GCC are highly dynamic and the companies within them are interested in adopting data center services as reliable and cost-effective alternatives to constructing and maintaining their own infrastructures, which has proved beneficial for providers in the area.
"The data center market is prosperous in the GCC region, with the availability of both specialized data center companies and telecom operators providing data center services to clients in the market," said Al Shawwa. "In order to meet the requirements of businesses, a wide variety of services is available, including hosting, disaster recovery, business continuity, cloud services and colocation, among others."
One Gulf country in particular is seeing significant growth in their data center market. The UAE is expected to experience a compound annual growth rate of 6.3 percent for their market over the next five years, according to an International Data Corporation report released in September. Growth in the country is primarily being driven by a rise in demand for business continuity and disaster recovery solutions. Providers in the area are also experiencing growing computational and storage needs due to customer interest in cloud services.