Alibaba Cloud Deepens Partnership with Leading University in the Middle East Aiming for Research Breakthroughs

December 14, 2017

Supporting the region’s digital transformation across sectors by leveraging strong cloud computing capabilities

Dubai, The United Arab Emirates, December 14, 2017 – Alibaba Cloud, the cloud computing arm of Alibaba Group, announced today that the company has furthered its partnership with Khalifa University of Science and Technology, a world-class research-intensive institution in Abu Dhabi, to identify joint opportunities in big data, Internet-of-Things, robotics and cloud computing.

This announcement follows a successful collaboration with the University’s Masdar Institute of Science and Technology. By combining the research capability of the Institute with Alibaba Cloud’s strength in cloud computing, a major technological advancement was made that can help Abu Dhabi in its enhanced oil recovery efforts.

Quantum mechanical simulation techniques can be used to understand and predict the movement of liquids across the surface of solid crystalline structures, and when this capability is applied to the UAE’s geological petroleum reservoirs, the knowledge gained can be leveraged to enhance oil production. Alibaba Cloud played an important role in the research effort by providing high-performance cloud computing power. The research team adopted Alibaba Cloud’s heterogeneous computing technology and built the simulation model on Alibaba Cloud’s Elastic Graphic Processing Unit (GPU) service (each GPU instance having thousands of stream processors) to expand its computing capability, reduce simulation time and increase prediction accuracy.

“By leveraging the computing capabilities of Alibaba Cloud, our research efforts to advance the UAE's goal of maximizing the value of its natural resources effectively and cost-efficiently are greatly enhanced. This is a perfect example of how cloud technology supports scientific research and brings social benefits,” said Dr. Steve Griffiths, Interim Executive Vice President for Research at Khalifa University of Science and Technology. “We are excited to now extend the collaboration with Alibaba Cloud in new research and development directions that are directly aligned with the UAE’s science and innovation goals.”

Alibaba Cloud already has a proven track record in the Middle East across a range of areas and this new partnership, along with its strong capability from the data center in Dubai operated by YVOLV, a joint venture between Alibaba Cloud and Meraas Holding, will help to extend these and bring wide benefits to the Middle East.

Simon Hu, Senior Vice President of Alibaba Group and President of Alibaba Cloud, said, “In view of the rapid growth of the digital economy in the Middle East, fueling demand for online shopping, mobile games and social networking tools, Alibaba Cloud set up our Dubai data center in November 2016, which is the first full-fledged public cloud in the region. This provides powerful, scalable, and cost-effective cloud computing services to regional public and enterprise customers. With growing service capability over the past year, we are proud to have become a major driver of the local digital economy and innovation. As it continues to evolve, we believe that inclusive cloud technology will play an important role across all of the region’s industry sectors.”

Enterprises of all sizes across finance, entertainment, smart city, to the Internet have made advances toward innovation with the help of Alibaba Cloud. One of our flagship cases in the Middle East is Mashreq Bank, the oldest privately owned bank in the United Arab Emirates with a proven reputation for innovation. A number of its mission-critical applications such as credit card application systems are powered by Alibaba Cloud.

Amongst the other success stories are the Middle East's largest integrated leisure and theme park destination Dubai Parks and Resorts, the world’s largest Arabic game developer Onemt, world-leading smart city platform Pegasus and the region’s second-largest e-commerce platform JollyChic which have all managed to scale their businesses on Alibaba Cloud.

Alibaba Cloud has also become an increasingly active player in the sports industry. This year marks the beginning of Alibaba Cloud as the FIFA Club World Cup’s Presenting Partner just as the tournament is due to take place in the UAE from 6th to 16th of December 2017. As the Presenting Partner, Alibaba Cloud will design and provide the Most Valuable Player (MVP) award. Commenting on the agreement, FIFA’s Director of Marketing Sales and Strategy, Iain Downie said: “We are aware of the substantial value that Alibaba Cloud provides to business in terms of technical support and global reaching services. We can only see great potential in this fresh collaboration related to the FIFA Club World Cup.”

“Looking forward, we will continue to serve our increasing public and enterprise customers in the region and help them transform digitally with enriched products and services. We will leverage our advantage of hosting a local data center, as well as our advanced cloud computing technology and experience with the Internet to help local internet ecosystem to grow,” Hu said.

About Alibaba Cloud

Established in 2009, Alibaba Cloud (, the cloud computing arm of Alibaba Group, is among the world’s top three IaaS providers according to Gartner, and the largest provider of public cloud services in China, according to IDC. Alibaba Cloud provides a comprehensive suite of cloud computing services to businesses worldwide, including merchants doing business on Alibaba Group marketplaces, start-ups, corporations and government organizations. Alibaba Cloud is the official Cloud Services Partner of the International Olympic Committee.