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Ahmad Al-Muslemani, CEO, MEEZA

QATAR - Telecoms & IT

Ahmad Al-Muslemani



MEEZA continues to look beyond ensuring it remains ahead of cyber threats, smart city requirements, and Qatar’s data requirements when making investments in its operations.
MEEZA currently has four Tier III certified data centers in Qatar. What were the factors that encouraged MEEZA to invest in opening these data centers?

A market study done by Arthur D. Little and supported by MEEZA confirmed global trends and news that the world is going through an insatiable appetite for data center services, be it in Europe or Asia. There is an aggressive growth trend and significant demand for data center services, and our part of the world is no different. As a matter of fact, we are witnessing greater demand in our part of the world because of our geographical location, our submarine connectivity, and our relatively inexpensive energy rates. All this makes Qatar and the Gulf region an attractive destination for content providers, hyperscaler cloud computing providers, and esports and gaming players wanting to move the infrastructure to the central part of the world. As a result of all these trends, MEEZA worked hard, even during the pandemic, to expand one of its major data centers while opening a brand-new facility, M-VAULT 4 Data Center. It is our latest in an array of Tier III, high-standard data center facilities right here in Qatar, suitable for a variety of use cases, most notably hosting hyperscaler and large-scale cloud computing and content platforms.

MEEZA was the first in Qatar to open a commercial security operations center (SOC) in 2013. How have its operations evolved since its establishment?

MEEZA’s SOC facility acts as a specialized command and control center that focuses on detecting cybersecurity events and helps address and defend against these challenges. Hackers around the world continue to come up with new ways of cyber-attacks, and technology companies and service providers such as MEEZA have to always innovate and stay one step ahead. This has meant MEEZA had to invest repeatedly in both upgrading its technology platform as well as its processes and people’s skillsets in an attempt to remain one step ahead. Since 2013, we have gone through a number of revamps of our technology, the latest of which is powered by AI. AI and cybersecurity play an extremely effective role in filtering out false negatives and suspicious activities that need to be looked at, which means fewer manual interventions and higher accuracy, translating into both economic as well as technical advantages for our clients. In terms of people and skills, MEEZA strongly believes in developing in-country value (ICV) in Qatar, and accordingly we have been actively developing the human capital in the country by training and developing our resources. This is one of the things that sets us apart from other companies in the field, whereby all our investments in the form of technology and manpower reside entirely within the country.

Can you elaborate on MEEZA’s work on smart cities and ICT infrastructure services in Qatar?

MEEZA continues to deliver on its macro-level digital transformation commitments and has been actively engaged in a number of smart city projects across the state. We recently participated at a strategic level in the Smart City Expo Doha 2022 at Msheireb. Many smart city projects are now maturing in terms of the design and delivery cycles, and they are now giving way to robust operations with ongoing service improvements. These are either at the efficiency level in terms of introducing better technology to achieve the same thing and potentially achieve more savings and adding to the economic value of these services, or at the innovation level and how users experience living, working, and even transiting through smart cities in terms of constant connectivity and having information available their fingerprints. We have to ensure all this complexity and data is provided in a user-friendly and intuitive manner that translates bits and data into information and knowledge, which ultimately impacts how these users perceive the smart city. The easier they gain information to this information, the more innovative they perceive the smart city to be. 6



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