The birth of an international Internet hub – establishing the first IX in the Middle East

To remain competitive, constant developments and innovations are necessary – because of the increasing data movement and importance of interconnection, this also means the development of interconnection for companies and entire regions. A new study published by DE-CIX explores what comprises an international Internet hub, using the last ten years of the UAE-IX powered by DE-CIX, and its impact on the UAE, as an example.

But first, let’s look back at what Internet connectivity was like in the UAE in the year 2012 – the following interviews tell us that this was a time when the interconnection market was not present in the Middle East and the existing interconnection activities were carried out only via telecommunications companies. 90% of data traffic that should have been exchanged locally had to be forwarded through Internet Exchanges in Europe. Even though the data throughput was much lower than today, there was a lot to improve in terms of the user experience.

Watch the video below to see an expert discussing the interconnection market in UAE 10 years ago.

10 years of UAE-IX: The past

The UAE-IX was DE-CIX’s first Internet Exchange (IX) outside of Germany, and for the Middle East, it was also the first IX in the region. In 2012 it became apparent that interconnection would become an emerging market – and this is still growing over 10 years later.

Download the study “The birth of an international Internet hub: a playbook for digital economy” to learn about the strategic steps, the achievements, and the results in the UAE over the past decade and see how other regions can follow in the development of a digital economy.