Doha, May 22 (QNA) - Google Cloud announced on Monday the opening of its Doha cloud region in cooperation with the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) and Qatar Free Zone Authority to meet the growing demand for cloud services in Qatar and the Middle East region.
During the launching ceremony of the cloud region, which was held at Qatar National Convention Centre, HE Minister of Communications and Information Technology Mohammed bin Ali bin Mohammed Al Mannai said: "The launch of the first Google Cloud region in Qatar fits into our comprehensive vision to achieve the desired goals of Qatar National Vision 2030, including the establishment of a strong digital infrastructure with internationally agreed standards and policies that will lead us all towards a more efficient economy based on digitalization and technology to facilitate quality of life and provide convenient solutions for various sectors.
"The new cloud region will contribute to giving impetus to economic and productivity growth, and will allow various government and private companies and institutions within Qatar the opportunity to achieve significant efficiency gains by adopting flexible features in dealing with digital technology," His Excellency added.
His Excellency stressed the endeavor of MCIT, in cooperation with the relevant authorities in the State, is to create the appropriate investment environment to attract major international companies and emerging companies in the fields of digital and emerging technology to support development plans in the State of Qatar aimed at economic diversification. His Excellency explained that the necessary policies, legislations, and regulations had been put in place to enable all actors in the communications and information technology sector and urge them to adopt initiatives that encourage innovation, diversity, and competition regionally and globally.
His Excellency pointed out that the Google Cloud region, which will be launched today, would play a vital role in promoting creativity and innovation at the level of the public and private sectors as well as individuals and creating quality job opportunities that contribute to the development of the digital economy, pointing out that Google cloud services will provide opportunities at the level of institutions and companies to improve performance and raise efficiency and cost reduction and store the data locally with easy access.
In the same context, His Excellency indicated that the global "Google Cloud" would encourage investment in the telecommunications and information technology sector at the regional level and would support Qatari companies in their various economic activities to diversify and expand locally and regionally by adopting services that rely on cloud computing.
His Excellency added that international reports indicated that public cloud services in the State of Qatar are witnessing a remarkable growth of 32.2% during 2021 to 2026, in addition to 61% of local companies switching to digital business models based on innovation. These results reflect the commitment of the State of Qatar and its willingness to embrace cloud technology to become more digitally empowered.
Concluding his speech, HE Minister of Communications and Information Technology Mohammed bin Ali bin Mohammed Al Mannai said that MCIT would work to establish a digital innovation center to support companies in their journey towards digital transformation through the adoption of cloud technology, adding that this initiative would be implemented gradually to include all government institutions. The MCIT would also launch a campaign, in cooperation with Google Cloud, to first introduce the cloud policy framework to facilitate the widespread adoption of this technology in Qatar.
For his part, HE Minister of State and Chairman of Qatar Free Zones Authority (QFZ) Ahmad bin Mohammed Al Sayed said: "The launch of the new Google Cloud region in Qatar marks a significant milestone in our growing partnership with Google Cloud that started in 2020 with an agreement to establish Google Cloud's region in Doha."
"We are proud to provide world-class cloud services from the free zones in Qatar, this is in addition to QFZ's pivotal role in introducing disruptive technologies and advanced digital infrastructure, creating opportunities for businesses to enhance their capabilities, foster innovation, and advance the technology sector in the State. This will further accelerate Qatar's digital transformation and the realization of Qatar National Vision 2030 that aims to build a sustainable knowledge-based economy," His Excellency added For his part, HE Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker said: "Qatar Airways is excited at the opportunity offered by Google setting up its Cloud region in Qatar. This gives us the ability to innovate jointly with Google and leverage their rich Cloud service offerings." "We are particularly keen to use AI/ML driven data insights using Google Cloud as a platform for enhancing our world-acclaimed customer service whilst also improving our operational efficiencies. Areas like data-driven predictive maintenance will now be much easier with Google Cloud being in Qatar and our data residing here securely," His Excellency added.
On this occasion, Chairman of beIN Media Group Nasser bin Ghanem Al Khulaifi said: "We are delighted to enter this major new partnership with Google Cloud, which will help beIN embrace the latest technologies and innovations. As a proud Qatari media group, we are always looking to innovate as a business and find ways to improve the experience of millions of our subscribers worldwide. In partnership with Google Cloud, beIN will help drive the continued digital transformation of the sports, entertainment, and media industry, both in Qatar and globally." In a related context, Chief Executive Officer of Qatar Financial Centre Yousuf Mohamed Al Jaida said: "Our partnership with Google Cloud affirms our shared desire to facilitate the growth of local businesses by providing opportunities and solutions that enable them to capitalize on the transformative benefits of technology and digitalization. Working with Google in this field builds up the support we provide our clients, particularly those in the financial services sector, and takes us steps forward in our mission to support the transformation of Qatar into a digital and fintech hub and the country's sustainable development in line with the national development plan." For his part, Executive Director of Technology and Network Operations at Al Jazeera Media Network Ahmed Al Fahad said: "We are delighted to be among the group of companies leveraging Google Cloud's new cloud region in Qatar. The new region will help Al Jazeera positively impact and empower more customers and partners around the world. Our collaboration with Google Cloud has helped us deliver tremendous value-added services to news readers around the globe." "We are able to capture and analyze how people engage with news in real-time and translate these insights into actions that help us keep the world better informed. We believe that with the cloud region now in Qatar, we are going to be strongly positioned to deliver exceptional news coverage and drive deeper engagement to all the information," he added.
In turn, President of Google Cloud Go-to-Market Adaire Fox-Martin said: "We are proud to be delivering on the commitment we made in 2020 to the Government of Qatar and the business community to open a cloud region in the country. The economy of Qatar holds tremendous growth potential. The Doha cloud region will be a catalyst for economic development and will create more employment opportunities in the Qatari market as more businesses grow and expand with the power of cloud technologies. We are also humbled by the presence of Qatari Cabinet Ministers and leaders from Qatari businesses at the region launch event today, which reflects the endorsement of the new cloud regions' potential." MCIT and the Qatari government have helped enable the growth of cloud across the government through the adoption of cloud policies, which facilitated Google Cloud's market entry.
The new Doha region is part of Google Cloud's global network of 37 regions and 112 zones that bring cloud services to over 200 countries and territories worldwide. The new region brings high-performance, low-latency services, and products to customers of all sizes, from public sector organizations, and large enterprises, to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and startups in Qatar and the Middle East.
According to research commissioned by Google Cloud and conducted by Access Partnership, the new Doha cloud region is expected to drive increased economic activity and is estimated to contribute a cumulative $18.9 billion in higher gross economic output to the economy of Qatar between 2023 and 2030 and support the creation of 25,000 jobs in 2030 alone.
This new cloud region is the latest significant investment made by Google Cloud in Qatar, following the recent opening of a country office and virtual center of excellence (CoE) in Msheireb.