Last year, global cloud services provider Amazon Web Services (AWS) announced that it would open its first AWS Middle East region in the Kingdom of Bahrain. The Bahrain choice was a surprise for most observers of Middle East cloud and hosting markets, for it bucked conventional Middle East cloud wisdom. Alibaba, Microsoft and Google are all building their Middle East cloud regions out of Dubai, Abu Dhabi or Riyadh, the region’s largest data center metros.
The AWS Bahrain case offers an additional glimpse into some of the critical factors driving hyperscale provider decision-making, when it comes to deciding where to host data center facilities in emerging markets. It also contains some useful lessons for African countries hoping to attract global hyperscale providers.