On March 4th, 2020, Qatar Free Zones Authority (QFZA) announced its partnership with Google to launch a new cloud region in Doha. This collaboration establishes Google Cloud’s first agreement and expansion within the Middle East region. Since 2018, the QFZA has both overseen and secured investments within the zones, including projects “from a wide range of leading local and global companies focused on the new economy, internet of things, sustainability, IT, big data, communications, transport, logistics, medical services, aviation, cybersecurity, and agritech.”
Aligned with Qatar’s National Vision 2030, the promotion of a knowledge-based economy facilitates innovation and entrepreneurship through the consolidation of new markets and strategic partnerships. As noted by His Excellency Ahmad bin Mohamed Al-Sayed, Minister of State and Chairman of QFZA, such collaborations reinforce Doha’s long-term strategy in promoting investments on a regional and international level.
The agreement demonstrates Qatar’s competitive advantages as well as furthers investors’ confidence and financial commitments.
Also, the introduction of a new data center region enables businesses to better meet customers’ needs by enhancing security controls, transparency, data privacy, and accessibility.
According to Dave Stiver, Senior Product Manager for Geoexpansion at Google, “the region will launch in Doha, Qatar, allowing new and existing customers, as well as partners, to run their workloads locally.” In adherence to Google Cloud’s multi-layered security standards, the data center will enable a fast and reliable global network to distribute workloads across regions while ensuring data control and autonomy.
In parallel, Stiver adds, “We see substantial interest from many customers in the Middle East and Africa, including Bespin Global, one of Asia’s leading cloud-managed service providers.” The latter demonstrates the importance of digital initiatives as central to service management and market expansion.
In regards to environmental benefits, the Cloud infrastructure is committed to sustainability goals and too low energy consumption. Google “matches 100% of the energy consumed by our global operations with purchases of renewable energy, so every Google Cloud product you use has zero net carbon emissions”. In comparison, data centers “use 50% less energy than most systems.” In line with Qatar’s efforts in mitigating the impact of Climate Change, this tech-partnership underlies Doha’s leading role in fortifying global commitments to sustainable and clean energy through economic diversification and innovation.
(Image Source: Tech Portal)