In recent years, cloud technology has seen explosive growth worldwide. Cloud-led digital transformation has proved to be central to continuous innovation, significant cost savings, business growth, new services and robust security. The Middle East is at the heart of global cloud acceleration, and Abu Dhabi offers businesses some of the world’s most advanced infrastructure.

“The UAE is spearheading the adoption of public cloud services within the Middle East and Africa (MEA) region,” says Richard Smith, Executive Vice President – Technology, EMEA, Oracle. “Analyst firm IDC estimates that total spending on public cloud services in the UAE is expected to grow at a combined annual growth rate (CAGR) of 26% over the next five years, to reach USD 3.2 billion in 2026.

“Abu Dhabi is swiftly moving towards becoming a leading hub for technology and innovation in the Middle East.”

The cloud vision

Cloud technology is a vital part of Abu Dhabi’s economic and investment strategy, which aims to develop an innovative and knowledge-based economy that encourages the development and deployment of the technologies of the future. Cloud is also playing a key role in accelerating the UAE’s Fourth Industrial Revolution Strategy and in strengthening the country’s cyber security preparedness, which is good news for businesses looking to operate in a stable yet future-facing environment.

Already ranked the Smartest City in the Middle East in 2020 by IMD, Abu Dhabi continues to strengthen its digital infrastructure. In Abu Dhabi, organisations including the Abu Dhabi Digital Authority and Abu Dhabi Investment Office (ADIO) are catalysing enormous progress towards the emirate’s digital objectives.

One of ADIO’s missions is to build Abu Dhabi’s ICT sector and bring key skills and capabilities that unlock opportunities across all other innovation-focused sectors. Under its Innovation Programme, ADIO has partnered with global ICT leaders, offering more than AED 735 million in financial incentives in 2021 as well as non-financial support including market intelligence, assistance accessing land and office space, regulatory guidance, and connections with potential partners and collaborators to help businesses spearhead their innovations.

Oracle has been present in Abu Dhabi for nearly three decades, offering the latest digital infrastructure, expert capabilities and technology solutions in the emirate. In 2021, it announced its new cloud region in Abu Dhabi. Oracle’s solutions aim to support customers with stronger business continuity and disaster recovery capabilities, enabling Abu Dhabi’s public and private organisations to take important steps towards greater cyber resilience and more secure digital infrastructure. In Abu Dhabi, growing partnerships between the public and private sectors are accelerating breakthroughs and advancing large-scale digital transformation.

“The rapid adoption of cloud-based technologies like artificial intelligence, Internet of Things (IoT) and machine learning is vital for building a thriving digital economy, which is a key priority for the UAE,” says Smith. “With our two cloud regions in the UAE, we have created the required cloud infrastructure for organisations across public and private sectors, including SMBs, to accelerate their digital transformation.”

The impact of cloud

Abu Dhabi is leading the region’s digital transformation. According to Dr Thani Al Zeyoudi, UAE Minister for Foreign Trade, “Oracle’s decision to open a second cloud region in the UAE is a clear reflection of our nation’s embrace of digital transformation, advanced technologies and the applications of the Fourth Industrial Revolution […] Oracle’s continued investment into the UAE will only accelerate this process, providing critical infrastructure, expertise and insights to further elevate the UAE’s standing as a place where the boldest ideas and biggest projects can come to life.” Advanced cloud infrastructure offers Abu Dhabi-based entrepreneurs the resources and security standards to supercharge their innovative ideas. This support is attracting world-class businesses and the most ambitious innovators to the emirate.

In 2022, Oracle established its Al Mustaqbal Oracle Innovation Hub. Located on Al Reem Island, it is dedicated to supporting the knowledge economy and digital innovation. The first of its kind, the Hub serves as a platform for Abu Dhabi’s public sector entities, Oracle customers and partners to better understand the potential of emerging technologies.

“The hub has started offering training and upskilling programmes in latest digital technologies for Abu Dhabi’s Emirati students, entrepreneurs, and women in tech,” explains Smith. “The Al Mustaqbal Oracle Innovation hub is designed to also serve as a centre for knowledge sharing, collaboration and exploration of numerous growth possibilities that can be achieved with the latest cloud technologies including artificial intelligence, machine learning, blockchain and Internet of Things (IoT).”

Oracle has also collaborated on digital tech education with leading Abu Dhabi universities, programmes for startups and many more initiatives. Its solutions are at the heart of some of Abu Dhabi’s most inspiring cloud projects.

“For example, the Abu Dhabi Customs has created an autonomous HR function by implementing the Oracle HCM Cloud and Oracle Digital Assistant, which has now replaced 14 systems and helped boost productivity by about 15%,” Smith explains. “We are also fully committed to supporting Abu Dhabi Digital Authority’s mandate to leverage emerging technologies to simplify the lives of the Abu Dhabi community and deliver a digital government that is proactive, personalised, collaborative and secure.”

The outlook

For businesses in Abu Dhabi, Oracle’s world-class infrastructure offers high standards of data and regulatory, high availability enabling applications to be optimised, reduced costs, improved customer experience, superior resilience and a reduced environmental impact.

“Oracle will continue to play a vital role in helping boost Abu Dhabi’s digital economy by expanding its infrastructure capabilities, introducing latest and best in industry cloud tech, and supporting the growth of a local IT talent pool that is well equipped to succeed in the digital economy,” says Smith.

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