Forbes Middle East
Forbes Middle East


UAE-Based Companies Partnering With Alibaba Cloud

Samar Khouri
UAE-Based Companies Partnering With Alibaba Cloud

Last week, DIFC announced the launch of WorldFirst—a global currency exchange and payments company acquired by China-based Alibaba Group Holding’s financial technology arm in February.

Through its new base in Dubai, the UK-headquartered e-commerce company will facilitate cross-border payment solutions and support international trade and currency exchange for both individuals and e-commerce firms to the MEASA region.

This isn’t the group’s first foray into the UAE. The Alibaba Group opened its first regional data center in Dubai in 2016, operated by YVOLV—a joint venture by Meraas Holdings and Alibaba Cloud.

Here’s a quick list of UAE-based companies that have partnered with Alibaba Group’s cloud computing arm:


Having recently secured $1.5 million in seed funding, RIZEK was one of the first Dubai-based tech startups to ink a deal with Alibaba Cloud in October.

As per the agreement, Alibaba’s cloud-computing subsidiary will develop innovative solutions aimed at significantly enhancing the homegrown company’s user experience capabilities and data analysis. The new cloud-computing service agreement was reportedly the region’s first partnership of its kind with Alibaba Cloud.


Last month, the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) also signed an MoU with Alibaba Group’s data intelligence backbone at GITEX Technology Week 2019. This is all part of how it is enhancing its digital services with state-of-the-art systems through Alibaba Cloud’s Tianchi innovation platform.

Khalifa University

Abu Dhabi-based Khalifa University of Science and Technology joined forces with Alibaba Cloud to launch its Joint Innovation Laboratory of Artificial Intelligence for Clean Energy. The lab focuses on using cloud computing, big data technologies and AI for clean energy.

Etihad Aviation Group

In 2017, Etihad Aviation Group signed an MoU with Alibaba Group Holding Limited and Ant Financial Services Group, to expand services for Chinese customers as well as improve logistics efficiency and guest experience. 

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