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The UAE ranked in the 7th position as the best place to build data centers on the Data Center Location Index 2021 report by Arcadis, a leading global Design & Consultancy organization for natural and built assets.

The top 3 spots went to the United States, Singapore and Japan. Sweden and Norway took the fourth and fifth spots.

As per the report, UAE’s fiber broadband network secured the United Arab Emirates (UAE) the top spot in mobile broadband penetration, while the ease of obtaining construction permits and a host of new smart city initiatives make it an emerging location for data center investment.  The report also mentions that UAE is centrally located in the Middle East ensuring proximity to submarine cables connecting it to the rest of the world. However, the report considers the costs of energy and carbon to cool servers in the hotter months.

The Arcadis Data Center Location Index 2021 includes 50 markets across six continents ranking optimal places to build data centers in the world.

The index looks at each market’s performance across eight key criteria: GDP per capita, dealing with construction permits, price of electricity, energy security, cybersecurity, domestic market size, the number of mobile broadband subscriptions and mean download speed. Using these criteria, Arcadis data specialists divided these into supply and demand criteria and then combined with equal weighting (50/50). The individual criteria weightings were determined based on their assessment of the relative importance of each factor. Weightings are set so that all factors have a material effect on the final index ranking. The final index value is a sum of weighted scores which have been collated from publicly available sources.

The index aims to provide insights that can be used to guide the decision-making process about where to establish a new facility. Selecting the best location is a critical factor that helps determine how well a data center investment will perform, as well as making sure the undertaking will be resilient and sustainable in a particular community.

Additionally, the report outlines a roadmap for the process of building a new data center and commentary on the significant current issues impacting the industry including climate change, the effects of COVID-19, and the growth of hyperscalers.

Arcadis partners with clients across the entire data center construction process, delivering due diligence, project management, cost management, design, stakeholder engagement, and digital capabilities to help companies optimize the planning, building, operations and maintenance of a new facility.

According to CEO, Peter Oosterveer Arcadis has the global scale and expertise to help accelerate the building of data center infrastructure that supports digital lives.

“Our lives are increasingly moving online, leading to a surge in data creation and consumption. This, in turn, requires us to build a resilient and growing infrastructure. While each project will ultimately depend on a unique combination of factors, this index is meant to provide a starting point to help clients think through the decision criteria influencing the optimal location.” says Natalie Sauber, Arcadis UK Market Intelligence Lead.

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