During Capacity Middle East 2023, Omar Hasan Al Zaabi, senior vice president of product and business development, e&, joined a panel entitled “How will the Middle East’s most powerful data centers unlock the digital economy?”
Al Zaabi shared his perspective on how data centers are replicated across the region to address latency and other use cases in an effort to make the region better for the future. The integration of submarine cables, data centers and terrestrial networks is also key to connecting the region.
In the Middle East, the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Oman are among the thriving countries for data centers, proving the impact of these facilities as growth contributors to the digital economy. Though connectivity continues to be an issue in some parts of the region, edge solutions are becoming more evident.
Related: UAE Among Top 10 Favorable Markets to Build Data Centers
Bringing hyperscalers into the picture, Al Zaabi mentioned that there is no one-size fits all as some are seen to be downsizing while others continue to be aggressive in their commitments and deliver services accordingly to what “they are competent for.”
“For us at e&, we are very much open to collaborating with hyperscalers, not only for their infrastructure but also for the solutions they are providing,” stated Al Zaabi.
In terms of what data centers should do right moving forward, eventually resulting in success, Al Zaabi pointed out the importance of collaboration between telcos and hyperscalers. This will bring seamless interconnection and help develop new solutions.
Throughout the panel, interesting points were raised, including edge use cases in 5G that require data centers to be closer to the user; carrier-neutral facilities being key to the ecosystem moving forward as different operators are co-hosted and regulations are set in place; big fiber deployments influencing the entirety of the region; and providers incorporating ESG and sustainability.
Delta Partners’ Sam Evans moderated the panel, while Equinix’s Kamel Tawil, Khazna’s Hassan Alnaqbi, Microsoft’s Khaleelo Khan and center3’s Mabs Khan joined Al Zaabi onstage for the discussion.