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Data centre space in UAE and Saudi Arabia increased by 60 per cent in three years

Equinix marks the presence of a Carrier Neutral Data Space in the UAE. (Image source: AndrewTonn/Flickr)

Data centre space in the UAE and Saudi Arabia have increased by 60 per cent since 2012, stated a report from Tariff Consultancy Ltd (TCL)

The report was made after a study was conducted across all six GCC countries, Israel and Jordan. Along with Israel, the UAE and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia currently account for 70 per cent of all data centre space in the eight countries surveyed.

However, there is a limited choice of infrastructure provided by telecom service providers in GCC nations, which means the data centre facility can only offer a number of network options unlike the Carried Neutral Data Centre provider in Europe or North America, said the study. The UAE makes for an exception as there is an expansion of Carrier Neutral Data Centre space, signified with the appearance of Equinix. The UAE has also been aided by the introduction of the region?s first Internet Exchange called UAE-IX in 2013, managed by the German DC-CIX Internet Exchange.

In order to combat the issue of limited options in telecom service infrastructure, data centre providers in the region are focusing on introducing IT services such as application services, managed services and cloud computing services for enterprises in the region, rather than independent data centre space and connectivity.

In addition, the sharp increase in new data centre capacity entering the market, has put pressure on data centre price levels, with standard rack space rates falling by an average of five per cent since 2012 ? even as new higher quality facilities are launched, added the TCL report.

Despite the issues surrounding the development of data centres, major providers such as Etisalat (UAE), Mobily (Saudi Arabia) and Ooredoo (Qatar) have a substantial data centre presence in the Middle East.