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Alibaba Cloud, Khalifa University extend research partnership

Cloud computing giant celebrates one year since setting up first datacentre in the region

Alibaba Cloud, Khalifa University extend research partnership
A number of Mashreq Bank's mission-critical applications such as credit card application systems are being powered by Alibaba Cloud.

Alibaba Cloud capabilities has helped Khalifa University of Science and Technology advance Abu Dhabi enhance its oil recovery efforts.

And now, the cloud computing arm of Alibaba Group, and the leading research university in the UAE, have announced they are extending their partnership to identify joint opportunities in big data, internet of things, robotics and cloud computing.

By employing the cloud computing capabilities of Alibaba Cloud, Khalifa University’s Masdar Institute of Science and Technology developed quantum mechanical simulation techniques that 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 contributed high-performance cloud computing power to the research effort. 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.”

The renewed partnership was announced as Alibaba Cloud celebrates its one year anniversary since setting up its own data centre in Dubai.

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, fuelling demand for online shopping, mobile games and social networking tools, Alibaba Cloud set up our Dubai data centre 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.”

One of the flagship customer cases in the Middle East for Alibaba Cloud is Mashreq Bank, the oldest privately owned bank in the United Arab Emirates. A number of its mission-critical applications such as credit card application systems are being 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, Arabic game developer Onemt, smart city platform Pegasus and 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 sports industry. This year marks the beginning of Alibaba Cloud becoming 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 centre, as well as our advanced cloud computing technology and experience in the internet to help local internet ecosystem to grow,” Hu said.

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