DAMAC to launch data centre facilities in KSA by end of 2023

Facilities in Riyadh and Dammam will have a total of 55MW of IT capacity in Q4 2023

DAMAC Data Centres, the global digital infrastructure provider owned by the Dubai-based DAMAC Group, has said that its Saudi Arabian facilities – in Riyadh and Dammam – will be live before the end of the year.

Speaking at LEAP 2023, Hussain Sajwani, Chairman of DAMAC Group, announced that in addition to the 20 megawatts (MW) of IT capacity currently under construction in the Kingdom, a further 35MW will be built.

Each facility in the two cities will launch with 5MW of IT capacity in Q4 2023, followed by a further 5MW in Q1 2024, he added. Both facilities will deliver a full 55MW of IT capacity by 2025.

DAMAC said that it is investing circa US$600 million in Saudi Arabia, as part of its US$1 billion data centre development strategy.

“KSA holds a unique position in the MENA region. Its borders touch more countries than almost any other and it is an ideal jumping off point for connecting across Africa and the GCC. Our facilities in Dammam and Riyadh offer local diversity as well as rapid access to subsea cable systems that serve regional and global needs,” said Sajwani.

“KSA has a young, digitally savvy population and a lot to offer in terms of digital innovation and smart cities. We look forward to supporting the growth of its digital economy,” he added, pointing out that DAMAC has accelerated its data centre rollouts due to local and international customer demand.

Customers are finalising agreements to secure all available capacity within these facilities with deals closing before the end of 2023, he stated.

The Dammam and Riyadh facilities are Uptime Institute certified Tier 3 classification and provide highly connected hubs in one of the regions fastest developing digital economies, Sajwani highlighted.

Gateway to the Region

Saudi Arabia is one of the most locally and globally connected regions in the GCC with 14 in-service subsea cables, 11 of which land in Jeddah. The KSA national fibre network offers terrestrial connectivity to all major Gulf markets and acts as a gateway to key regional submarine cable landing stations.

DAMAC’s facilities support Saudi Vision 2030 and its strategy for accelerating development and growth locally, the company said.

“We are selecting locations for data centre facilities based on local demographics, the state of digital adoption, and opportunities to support long-term economic growth. Every site location we choose must meet strict criteria based on future demand rather than who needs rack space today,” said Sajwani.

“Our Dammam and Riyadh sites more than meet these criteria and these will be two of several facilities that we are planning in the KSA. We’re excited to ramp up our builds and deliver data centre facilities that serve local market needs.”

He added that the DAMAC Data Centre team has grown rapidly over the last 12 months to support customer demand and new facilities going live. Its globally experienced management team is working with third party suppliers and delivering operational capabilities to serve world-leading businesses.

DAMAC began investing in technology infrastructure in 2021 after it identified a need to develop data centres in emerging and underserved markets globally. In a statement on its website, it said that it saw building data centres as a natural sector expansion.

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