Why We’re Investing in Dubai’s Digital Future - Interconnections - The Equinix Blog

Why We’re Investing in Dubai’s Digital Future – Interconnections – The Equinix Blog

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Equinix is the digital infrastructure partner Dubai needs

In spite of the impressive digital growth already happening in the city today, it’s clear that Dubai needs world-class infrastructure before it can fulfil its potential as a world-class hub for digital innovation.

Like most other metros in the Middle East, Dubai has traditionally been reliant on Europe for its digital bandwidth delivery. Having to regularly move traffic back and forth over hundreds of miles contributes to higher latency and makes it more difficult to keep up with high demand for bandwidth. For this reason, developing more digital infrastructure on the ground in Dubai and other Middle Eastern metros has become a top priority for local leaders and foreign investors alike.

New subsea cable landings are a great first step. Major global projects like 2Africa Pearls[8] and intra-regional ones like the Oman Emirates Gateway (OEG)[9] are scheduled to land in and around Dubai in the near future. This will help provide additional capacity and increase connectivity to the rest of the world. However, there still needs to be infrastructure investment on land—in carrier-neutral colocation, peering, interconnection and more—to help Dubai take its digital transformation to the next level.

Equinix was early to recognize Dubai’s digital potential, and we’ve been consistently investing here for more than a decade now. We opened our first Equinix IBX® data center in Dubai in 2012. This facility, Equinix DX1, was the first carrier-neutral colocation data center in the Middle East. As the home of the UAE Internet Exchange (UAE-IX), DX1 plays an essential role is supporting digital ecosystems in the region by interconnecting network service providers, internet service providers, content and digital media providers, cloud service providers and more.

His Highness Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, First Deputy Ruler of Dubai, and Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance of the UAE, today met with Charles Meyers, President and CEO of Equinix

The launch of DX3 represents the next step in our partnership

Today, we’re thrilled to announce the launch of Equinix DX3, our third IBX data center in Dubai, with an investment of over $60 million to build the first phase. Once complete, it will be the largest Equinix data center in the Middle East, at 23,000 square feet, and the most interconnected. As local and international businesses continue to explore innovation opportunities in Dubai, DX3 will be there to give them the digital infrastructure they need to be successful.

The Dubai market is such an important one for Equinix that our CEO Charles Meyers travelled here last week to personally announce the new DX3 data center.

The decision to launch a new data center in Dubai was an easy one for us to make. Due to high demand from existing Equinix customers such as Arab Financial Services (AFS)[10], we had quite simply run out of capacity in our DX1 and DX2 data centers in Dubai. We knew we needed to grow our presence to keep up with the digital growth happening in Dubai and throughout the Middle East. DX3 will ultimately be our sixth Equinix IBX data center in the Middle East, joining existing facilities in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Muscat, as well as the previously announced Equinix SN1 data center in Salalah.

Platform Equinix® is the only global digital infrastructure platform with a presence in the UAE and Oman. We know the Middle East well, and we understand it can be a complex place to do business, particularly for multinational companies that aren’t accustomed to the region. In addition to providing the digital infrastructure our customers need in Dubai, we’ve also made it our mission to help them overcome this complexity. This means that setting up a digital presence in Dubai can feel quick and easy—just as it would anywhere else on Platform Equinix’s global footprint.

Equinix Fabric brings software-defined interconnection to Dubai

At Equinix, we’re also proud to host the only interconnection platform in the Middle East. In March, we announced the launch of Equinix Fabric® in Dubai. This means it’s now easier than ever before for businesses in the Middle East to interconnect their digital infrastructure across the globe.

Equinix Fabric is our software-defined interconnection service. In addition to Dubai, it’s currently available in 50+ metros worldwide. This means that digital businesses can now start from Dubai and gain remote access to their distributed data centers and hundreds of different service providers, no matter where in the world those providers are located. They can set or change virtual connections on Equinix Fabric with a few simple clicks, giving them the flexibility and agility to simplify hybrid multicloud networking and keep up with a rapidly changing world.

To learn more about Equinix Fabric and how it supports interconnected distributed infrastructure and digital ecosystems worldwide, read our guide today.

Also, visit the Dubai metro page to learn more about our Equinix IBX data centers in Dubai.


[1] Interconnection bandwidth is a measure, calculated in bits/sec, of the capacity provisioned to privately and directly exchange traffic between two parties, inside carrier-neutral colocation data centers.

[2] Erika Masako Welch, “10 Things to Know About Dubai’s Digital Economy Ambitions,” Entrepreneur Middle East, October 28, 2022.

[3]MENA-3 Games Market Report,” Niko Partners, January 2023.

[4]Successful robotaxi trial puts Abu Dhabi ahead of Dubai,” GlobalFleet, February 15, 2022.

[5] Suparna Dutt DCunha, “Is UAE Becoming A Global Digital Hub?” Datatechvibe, July 12, 2021.

[6] Engy Shibl, Sarah Shaer, Dr. Fadi Salem, “Advancing Artificial Intelligence Impact in Dubai,” Mohammed Bin Rashid School of Government, March 2023.

[7]Hamdan bin Mohammed launches Dubai Metaverse Strategy,” Emirates News Agency, July 18, 2022.

[8] Kevin Salvadori, “2Africa Pearls subsea cable connects Africa, Europe, and Asia to bring affordable, high-speed internet to 3 billion people,” Engineering at Meta, September 21, 2021.

[9] Paul Lipscombe, “Omantel and Du announce Oman Emirates Gateway subsea cable,” Data Center Dynamics, March 15, 2023.

[10]AFS relocates its UAE data center operations to Equinix Dubai International Business Exchange,” Zawya, August 23, 2022.


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