Cloud behemoth Amazon Web Services (AWS) has announced plans to build three new data centres in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) that will come online in the first half of 2022.

The AWS Middle East Region will comprise of three separate locations, also known as “Availability Zones”.

It will become AWS’ second region in the Middle East following the 2019 launch of cloud infrastructure in Bahrain.

The proximity of the new data centres will provide lower latency to AWS customers in the UAE. It will also allow companies to keep data in the country and comply with data residency requirements, AWS said.

Customers will also have access to the suite of AWS services that run on top of its cloud infrastructure.

“We are excited to build on the great momentum of cloud adoption in the Middle East by providing more choice for customers in the UAE to run applications and store data locally,” said Peter DeSantis, senior vice president of global infrastructure at AWS. “The new AWS Region supports the UAE’s focus on promoting technology innovation that has made it a thriving global hub for entrepreneurs, e-governments, and multi-national businesses.”

Abu Dhabi is connected to the global internet by a 100km submarine cable that snakes along the seabed to Doha, Qatar.

Neighbouring Dubai is connected via three sea cables, according to Submarine Cable Map, a site for tracking the world’s internet cables.

His Excellency Mohammed Ali Al Shorafa, chairman of the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development, said: “Building on Abu Dhabi’s smart infrastructure and digital transformation, AWS’s investment will further enable innovators and companies with globally-relevant solutions to realize new opportunities in the UAE and beyond.”

AWS currently has data centres in 25 geographic regions. It plans to launch six more AWS Regions in Australia, India, Indonesia, Spain, Switzerland and the UAE.

Amazon’s cloud subsidiary has consistently been the market leader since 2006 thanks to its first-mover advantage.

However, rivals such as Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud have increasingly been winning more business.

In March Chinese rival Tencent Cloud announced a new data centre in Bahrain that will go live by the end of the year.

This week AWS and Google formalised a $1.2bn deal with the Israeli government to launch regional data centres in the country and provide cloud services to the public sector and military.

According to GlobalData forecasts, data centre revenues will reach $948bn in 2030, giving a large market of opportunities to stakeholders.