MCIT Launches First Cloud Data Centre Region In Qatar
The Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) and Microsoft launched today the first new cloud data center region in Qatar in a ceremony attended by HE Minister of Communications and Information Technology Mohammed bin Ali Al Mannai.
This 55th region for Microsoft globally will join the largest cloud infrastructure in the world, enhance the competitiveness of the State of Qatar at the regional and global levels and in line with the Qatar National Vision 2030, and consolidate the country’s leading position in the digital transformation process.
The launch ceremony titled “Qatar Digital Journey to the Future”, was attended by a number of Their Excellencies the Ministers, many senior executives in the public and private sectors, and Microsoft officials.
The new Microsoft cloud data center contributes to enhancing the growth of the local economy, supporting the country’s efforts to achieve economic diversification, foster talent and attract foreign investment.
In a speech at the ceremony, HE Minister of Communications and Information Technology Mohammed bin Ali Al Mannai said that these centers began in 2017 through positive discussions with Microsoft, culminating in the signing of an agreement to establish the centers in July 2019, describing this launch as a milestone in the transformation of the State of Qatar to an advanced and leading digital center in the Middle East and the world, which was inspired by the Qatar Vision 2030 aimed at establishing a diversified and competitive national economy.
HE the Minister announced the launch of another global cloud data center in the State of Qatar in the near future, to join the group of cloud computing development projects and to be an opportunity for companies based in the State of Qatar to grow, and for private and government entities to provide their services better, amid an environment of high operational flexibility and secure the best tools and practices to provide the necessary protection from cyber risks.
He stressed that these pioneering projects in the field of digital transformation could not have been realized without the great attention paid by our wise leadership and our government to this vital sector, believing in its crucial role in the development of other economic sectors.
He affirmed the keenness to provide a legislative and legal environment that regulates the sector and enhances its attractiveness, as the government has issued many legislations to encourage investment in the field of the digital economy, initiatives and projects in it, the latest of which was the approval of the Council of Ministers at its regular meeting held on June 1, 2022 on the cloud computing policy framework document.
He pointed out that in the future, the protected data law will be issued, now under preparation, to form a qualitative addition to the set of laws and legislations regulating the digital sector in a way that contributes to enhancing its development.
HE the Minister of Communications and Information Technology explained the ministry’s proudness of the readiness of the ICT infrastructure and digital services to serve the first in the Middle East tournament, FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.
With the launch of the Microsoft cloud data center, local and international companies will be able to host their cloud data in Qatar, benefiting from reliability and high performance, as customers can now take advantage of Microsoft Azure to develop advanced apps using artificial intelligence (AI), data, analytics, the internet of things, and hybrid cloud capabilities in a secure and sophisticated cloud environment, in addition to the possibility of using Microsoft 365 for the global productivity cloud that offers the best productivity applications seamlessly through cloud services.
Microsoft cloud provides more than 100 certificates of accreditation and compliance, the largest set of accreditations provided by any cloud, enabling foundations to comply with many law requirements, including a certificate of compliance with national information security standards from the National Cyber Security Agency of Qatar, which Microsoft received earlier this year.
In this regard, president of Microsoft Europe, Middle East and Africa Ralph Haupter said that Microsoft customers across Qatar have started using the secure and reliable Microsoft cloud to innovate, achieve their goals and accomplish a lot with less effort, noting the introduction of the first large-scale cloud data center in Qatar, providing more opportunities to accelerate the digital transformation process.
General Manager of Microsoft in Qatar Lana Khalaf explained that for its history of achievements and being one of the first countries to adopt technology in various fields, Qatar has been able to adopt the cloud and revolutionized entire sectors to reach a new and advanced digital economy, which enables the country to transfer these wonderful innovations to the world, and consolidate Qatar’s position as a leader in digital transformation and a center for innovation.
A number of foundations in Qatar have begun to benefit from the services of Microsoft cloud data centers to develop their digital capabilities, including the MCIT through its national programs, TASMU platform and the Qatar digital government, in addition to the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy, and many others.
In 2021, the MCIT developed, designed and operated the TASMU platform on the Azure cloud in cooperation with international technology companies led by Ooredoo supported by Microsoft, a platform that is considered a unique smart city solution, in line with its commitment to support the Qatar digital transformation agenda.
For her part, MCIT Assistant Undersecretary of Digital Society Development Reem Al Mansouri commented that Qatar has become a regional center for digital transformation and provided an attractive infrastructure for investment in the digital economy, which stimulated international entrepreneurs to launch quality projects that will undoubtedly contribute to enhancing Qatar’s journey in the digitization and IT sector.
The Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy (SC) has selected the “TASMU” platform to take advantage of the technical services it provides such as digital twinning and intelligent data analysis to manage transfers and the entire crowd for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, as the SC is working to organize a world-class tournament that enhances the status of the State of Qatar globally, through the use of the most advanced technologies.
At a press conference held before the launch of the cloud data centers, MCIT Acting Assistant Undersecretary for Information Technology Affairs Mashael Al-Hammadi stressed that the Microsoft cloud data centers in Qatar empowers companies with the necessary base to accelerate innovation in line with the Qatar National Vision 2030, which is a long-term investment that gives Qatar’s digital economy a competitive advantage, and confirms confidence in Qatar’s position among the digitally leading countries in the Middle East, Africa and the world.
She emphasized that cloud data centers in the country will be an approved platform for cloud computing services for public and private sector companies and organizations in Qatar and the world, and it marks the beginning of a new chapter in Qatar’s journey to be a global center for innovation.