Aliyun, the cloud computing arm of Alibaba, announced today that it has signed a joint-venture agreement with Dubai-based holding company Meraas to bring it services to companies and government organizations in the Middle East and North Africa.
The deal marks Aliyun’s first move into the MENA region, according to an Alibaba representative. The joint venture will be based in Dubai and create new applications, cloud computing architecture, and big data tools for local clients.
In a statement, Meraas chairman Abdulla Al Habbai said that the services will contribute to “transport, communications, infrastructure, electricity, economic services, and urban planning” as Dubai attempts to transform itself into a “smart city,” with 1,000 government services connected to an online platform over the next two years.
In addition to the joint venture, Meraas also plans to build a technology hub that will include a data center, as well as residential and commercial…
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