Telecoms firm Etisalat is building two data center campuses in the United Arab Emirates.

The sites are located in Jebel Ali, on the southern outskirts of Dubai, and in Al Ain; a city located on the UAE’s eastern border with Oman.

Dubai skyline, UAE
Dubai skyline, UAE – Getty Images

Middle East expansion

The Jebel Ali campus will have a capacity of 12.4MW across eight data halls covering 4,000 sq m (43,055sq ft). The facility, which will be the company's largest in the UAE, is expected to be up and running in the third quarter of 2019.

Speaking to TechRadar, Miguel Angel Villalonga, vice president for cloud and data center at Etisalat said: “The Al Ain campus will have an area of 1,700 square meters. It will be in four rooms and on two floors. The overall IT power will be 4MW while the average density per rack will be 6kW.

“We built the data centers initially for government and enterprise customers but what we are seeing is that smaller companies, especially SMEs, are moving to the cloud to cut costs and boost efficiency."

Emirates-based Etisalat operates ten commercial data centers in the UAE, eight or which are owned by the company. The other two facilities are owned by third-parties whilst still being traded under the Etisalat brand.

Earlier this year, Oracle partnered with Etisalat as a telecom partner to help the IT giant open its first Middle Eastern data center in Abu Dhabi.

Microsoft opened its first data center regions in the Middle East last month, in Abu Dhabi and Dubai. AWS is set to open data centers in Bahrain soon, and could be coming to Saudi Arabia, potentially followed by Google.