Microsoft is due to launch its Qatar Azure cloud region in the coming weeks.

At the launch of new offices in the Lusail City area of Doha, company executives said the new cloud region is due to launch in the capital city imminently.

In the coming two weeks we will be launching the region globally, but definitely the data center is already here in Qatar,” General manager of Microsoft Qatar Lana Khalaf told The Peninsula.

The Qatari government gave Microsoft permission to develop a cloud region in the Gulf country in January 2019, with an official announcement from the company coming in December of that year. At the time the company said the new region would be available in 2021. Qatari ICT firm Meeza completed the data center due to host Microsoft’s infrastructure last year, but the launch of the region itself was pushed back to 2022.

Our global data center will create 24,000 new jobs in the economy of Qatar. So we want to skill and re-skill 15,000 people every year to be able to take these future jobs. What Microsoft is doing is skilling and re-skilling for employability. And we will continue this until we train 50,000 people over the next five years. This is our mission here for every person in the country, with special tracks in Qataris,” Khalaf said.

Microsoft launched Azure regions in neighboring UAE in Abu Dhabi (UAE Central) and Dubai (UAE North) in 2019, though the former has since been de-listed; it may now be a reserved access region. The company is also developing an Azure region in Israel.

Google is developing regions in Israel, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar. AWS has a region in Bahrain and is planning another in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).