The battle for cloud services across the Middle East clearly shows that there can be room for more competitors. Google has announced that they’ll be setting up a Google Cloud region in Saudi Arabia. This is being done in partnership with Saudi Aramco (the very same oil company).
Google Cloud’s Regional Focus
According to the official Google blog, a memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed with Aramco back in 2018; this served as the precursor for this announcement. As the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the digitization push across the region, both parties concluded the final terms before the end of 2020.
The strategic partnership will see Aramco establish a separate company (meeting the regulatory requirements) serving as a local strategic reseller. The new company will be offering cloud solutions and services, with a particular focus on businesses in Saudi Arabia.
Some of the big clients already leveraging Google Cloud include regional eCommerce giant Noon.com and Snap (parent company of Snapchat). Snapchat is quite popular in the region especially in Saudi Arabia and the UAE. Adding a cloud region nearby will greatly help in powering much of the platform’s user activity in the country and across the region.
Aramco themselves sees the cloud services market demand reach up to a value of $30 billion by 2030, clearly showing the long-term value in catering to this segment.
While Qatar was the first region for Google Cloud in the Middle East to be announced back in Q1 2020, this additional region will definitely speed up the digitization push by many countries in the region.