Alibaba Cloud held its inaugural Middle East and Africa Internet Summit in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday, a partnership with regional artificial-intelligence (AI) and cloud-computing company Group 42.
The summit was held to bring together key stakeholders, from industry executives to investors to scientists, to share ideas and best practices with the aim of growing the Middle East’s still-developing technology sector, Alibaba Group’s cloud-computing arm said in a release.
Selina Yuan, president of Alibaba Cloud Intelligence International, said the company has seen a surge in the number of innovations across many sectors, from retail to fintech to entertainment, including those in the Middle East.
“We are proud of our role in helping enterprises expanding into some of the fastest-growing vertical markets through our proven technology capabilities, such as AI and machine learning,” she said.
The Middle East has been an important area of investment for Alibaba Group’s cloud-computing arm. Alibaba Cloud currently works with about 30 regional partners and clients in different sectors, including a joint research lab with Khalifa University of Science and Technology that is working to develop AI-driven energy technologies and energy-saving materials.
“We are pleased to note the success story of Alibaba Cloud’s Middle East data center in the UAE, which has helped to accelerate the expansion of e-commerce and a more diversified business sector,” said Saif Mohammed Al Hajri, chairman of the Department of Economic Development in Abu Dhabi.
Launched in 2009, Alibaba Cloud is the world’s number-three provider of Infrastructure as a Service and Infrastructure Utility Services tools, and number one in the Asia Pacific region. It currently operates in 56 availability zones across 19 regions worldwide, including the U.S., Australia, Singapore, Japan, Hong Kong, Indonesia and India.