UAE-IX report 2020: Huge demand for interconnection, bandwidth, and digital services

Dubai (UAE), 18 May 2021. The leading carrier and data center neutral Internet Exchange operator in the GCC region, UAE-IX powered by DE-CIX, today publishes its annual growth report for 2020, which was marked by a global pandemic. In the last year, UAE-IX experienced enormous growth of 63% in total customer bandwidth – increasing to over 1400 Gbit – whilst the number of customers increased by just shy of 15%. This demonstrates clearly the need for interconnection and greater bandwidth. Tremendous growth was also experienced in peak traffic: the new record of more than 210 Gbit/s, set during the first lockdown, represents an increase of 73% and resulted, among other things, from the huge wave of working from home and homeschooling during the first phase of the Covid-19 pandemic. In addition, Microsoft Azure became available in 2020 at UAE-IX through the DE-CIX Cloud Exchange and its DirectCLOUD service. Further, due to the global pandemic, leading providers of collaboration tools – which are needed for home office and homeschooling – increased their capacity in spring by up to 400%.

“Over the last 12 months, lockdowns and quarantines have created new challenges for both businesses and users. It has also accelerated digital transformation locally in the Middle East and across the globe. We are proud to have played a role in helping service providers, businesses, schools, citizens and the entire ICT ecosystem to adapt to this new world we live in,” said Abou Moustafa, Vice President – Large & Medium Enterprise Segment Large & Medium Enterprise Segment at du. He continues: “The growth of UAE-IX over the past year is testament to its importance to the local economy and our society as a whole. Together with DE-CIX, we have enabled UAE-IX partners to adapt, pivot and minimize disruption, while providing them with a digital hub that enables local and global transformation. Our success is that partners connect, collaborate and grow in this new world.”

Owing to vast customer demand, UAE-IX announced during GITEX in December 2020 that its award-winning Apollon platform will be extended to further sites and data centers in the UAE, including Khazna Dubai, Khazna Abu Dhabi, and a new point of presence at Smarthub Fujairah later in 2021.

“The global pandemic has made clear that data needs to be as close to the customer and the user as possible to increase quality, security, and resilience, as well as to reduce latency. So, it was a special milestone for us to sign the agreement with du in December for the expansion of UAE-IX to five more sites in the UAE. With the extended footprint of UAE-IX, we are underlining the strong position of the UAE as the data hub for the GCC and beyond, and we are bringing data much closer to the edge,” says Ivo Ivanov, CEO of DE-CIX International.  

UAE-IX is the first carrier and data center neutral Internet Exchange for the Middle East that interconnects global networks, network operators, and content providers in the GCC region. It serves more than 80 customers, comprising a mix of global enterprises, carriers, cloud, content providers, and emerging technology platforms, alongside banking and financial services companies. In 2019, UAE-IX deployed DE-CIX’s Apollon Advanced platform to enable hyper-scalability and Cloud Exchange features alongside its global peering services. Customers are connected directly through a virtual local area network (VLAN) and via their access at UAE-IX can reach 50+ cloud providers, from niches to hybrid solutions.