Microsoft has announced today, the official opening of its first Middle Eastern cloud regions which are located in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, UAE. These new facilities bring Microsoft’s Azure global regions to 54, across 140 countries.

With the opening of these new cloud regions, Microsoft Azure and Office 365 are now generally available to customers in these regions, while Dynamics 365 and Microsoft Power Platform will be available later this year.

AWS and Google had disclosed their intentions to setup their cloud regions in the Middle East, Saudi Arabia precisely. It however played out that Microsoft made the first landing with two regions in the UAE.

“It made sense for us to base our first Middle East data centers in the UAE, to capitalize on the position the country has achieved. We’ve had a lot of demand from customers, whether it’s government or the commercial sector, for data centers that are close to them,” said Sayed Hashish, general manager for Microsoft Gulf.

The cloud giant announced that the corporation is also the first cloud service provider in UAE to achieve the Dubai Electronic Security Center certification for its cloud services.

“We anticipate the cloud services delivered from UAE to have a positive impact on job creation, entrepreneurship, and economic growth across the region,” said Tom Keane, CVP, Azure Global, Microsoft Azure. “Microsoft also continues to help bridge the skills gap amongst the IT community and to enhance technical acumen for cloud services. Cloud Society, a Middle East and Africa focused program building upon Microsoft Learn, has trained over 150,000 IT professionals in MEA.”

Organizations in the UAE that have already signed up for Azure include the Emirates Group, Emaar Properties, Majid Al Futtaim, Jumeirah Hotels and Resorts, Landmark Group, Abu Dhabi Global Markets (ADGM), Miral, Daman Insurance, RAK Ceramics, Imdaad, Gulf Air, Viva, Kuwait Finance House, Dubai World Trade Center, and Dubai Airports.