Following yesterday’s news that India is expecting a data centre development boom, activity in that sector also seems to be ramping up in Saudi Arabia, where internal and external investors have announced big plans.
Telecommunications services company STC has said it plans to transfer its data centre, international submarine cables, and international points of presence assets to a new wholly-owned subsidiary.
The new company is valued at about $559.7 million, but nearly half a billion dollars is expected to be injected into the enterprise whose aim is to attract more foreign investment into digital infrastructure in the kingdom and to boost Saudi Arabia’s current position as the region’s digital hub.
In fact foreign investment is already happening. Earlier this week Huawei signed a strategic agreement with STC to set up local data centres in the Kingdom; the deal will see manufacturing facilities for data centre equipment and hardware established in Saudi Arabia.
Huawei also announced plans to launch a cloud region in Saudi Arabia, though concrete details on how this will be carried out are not yet available.
And of course Neom, the company behind the futuristic city of the same name, has plans to build hyperscale data centres in the new smart city on the Red Sea coast.
The company has said that the new facilities – to be developed in partnership with infrastructure developer Ezdihar Advanced Company for Information Technology (EzdiTek) – will be operated by a new company known as ZeroPoint DC.
This news comes at a time when Saudi Arabia is planning a number of major investments to support its growth in non-oil industries, including, as we reported yesterday, $6.4 billion of investments in future technology.