May 12, 2015 / 5:04 PM / 2 years ago

Alibaba's cloud computing unit to establish base in Dubai

DUBAI (Reuters) - The cloud computing unit of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding said it would establish a base in Dubai to seek business from companies and governments in the Middle East and North Africa.

Alibaba founder and chairman Jack Ma makes a speech during the official opening of the CeBIT trade fair in Hanover March 15, 2015. REUTERS/Fabian Bimmer

The deal may bolster Dubai’s efforts to develop as a technology center for the region, in addition to marking an expansion of Alibaba’s cloud computing effort.

Alibaba’s subsidiary Aliyun will set up a venture with Meraas, a holding company owned by Dubai’s ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum. Meraas is involved in about 12 local real estate projects as well as tourism, retail, leisure and entertainment businesses.

The joint venture will specialize in developing applications and big data operations in areas such as payment solutions, the two companies said in a statement on Tuesday. Meraas will build a data center in Dubai.

Reporting by Andrew Torchia

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