AWS Government, Education, & Nonprofits Blog

AWS Region to Open in the Middle East by Early 2019

We are pleased to announce that AWS is bringing infrastructure to the Middle East with an AWS Region opening by early 2019. The new region will be based in Bahrain, will be comprised of three Availability Zones at launch, and will give AWS customers and APN Partners the ability to run their workloads and store their data in the Middle East with lower latency. AWS today also announced it will launch an AWS Edge Network Location in the UAE in the first quarter of 2018. This will bring services such as Amazon CloudFront, Amazon Route 53, AWS Shield, and AWS Web Application Firewall (WAF) to the region and adds to the 84 points of presence AWS has around the world.

These announcements add to our continued investment in the Middle East. Earlier this year, we opened the doors to our first offices in Bahrain and Dubai to empower organizations of all sizes, from startups to governments, as they make the transition to the AWS Cloud. Prior to this, we have supported the growth of technology education and new businesses in the region with AWS Educate and AWS Activate.

Today, we also hosted an AWS Summit for the Middle East, representing the first-ever AWS conference of this scale in Bahrain. The Summit provided an interactive forum for the cloud-computing community to connect, collaborate, and learn. Keynotes were delivered by Fetcher, MBC, Bahrain Polytechnic, and the Kingdom of Bahrain Information & eGovernment Authority (iGA).

Government organizations are working with AWS to lower costs and better serve citizens in the region. For example, the Bahrain Institute of Public Administration has moved their Learning Management System to AWS, reducing costs by over 90%.

The iGA, who joined us onstage at the AWS Summit, is charged with moving all government services online and is responsible for Information and Communications Technology (ICT) governance and procurement for the entire Bahrain government. Earlier this year, the iGA launched a cloud-first policy, requiring all new government ICT procurement to evaluate cloud-based services first.

Mohamed Ali Al Qaed, CEO of Bahrain iGA, said of the announcement, “AWS forms the backbone of our digital government initiatives so the news that an AWS Region is coming to our country is warmly welcomed by us. Through adopting a cloud first policy, we have helped to reduce the government procurement process for new technology from months to less than two weeks. We are in the process of migrating 700 servers with more than 50 TB of data to AWS with the goal of decommissioning our hosting platform by the end of 2017. We have also started to migrate systems of national significance, such as our Bahrain Data Locator, and supporting other entity system migrations, like the Ministry of Education LMS that has 149,000 users, with more planned. As we move more mission critical workloads to AWS, we look forward to even greater efficiencies and being able to complete our mission to become eGovernment & ICT Pioneers.”

The addition of AWS infrastructure in the Middle East will help countries across the region to innovate and grow their economies. We look forward to serving new and existing customers in the Middle East and working with APN Partners across the region. Learn more about the AWS Middle East Region in the press release here.