Khazna to spearhead the creation of digital ecosystem in the UAE

Hassan Alnaqbi, Chief Executive Officer, Khazna Data Centers, elaborates on how Khazna looks to expand while ensuring its facilities are green.

How has Khazna’s business landscape evolved after the merger of Etisalat and G42 data centres?

Following the JV agreement between e& (formerly known as Etisalat Group) and G42, Khazna Data Centers is now the largest network of hyperscale data centers in the Middle East and North Africa region. The agreement allows both parties to increase the value of their infrastructure assets contributed to the joint venture while also optimizing process and resource utilization, without impacting their respective commercial positioning, client relationships and leading market positions.

The move will also support the creation of a digital ecosystem in the UAE and beyond, as Khazna Data Centers effectively delivers services to partners, customers, and users alike.

How does Khazna ensure that its facilities are green?

At Khazna Data Centers, we have the responsibility to utilize technology to power a more sustainable future. Our ‘Future First Strategy’ focuses on designing, building, and operating the most energy-efficient and sustainable data centers across the entire region.

Solar photovoltaic (PV) system has been installed across Khazna’s parking lots. Emerge, a joint venture between Masdar and EDF, is currently developing a ground-mounted solar photovoltaic (PV) plant to power Khazna’s new data center in Masdar City. LED lighting is used across all facilities which consumes less electricity and generates less heat decreasing the needed for air conditioning. Pre-cooling and free cooling are relied on whenever the weather conditions allow which contributes to less utilization of HVAC equipment hence less carbon emission.

Our new design approaches and equipment/technology selections are always analyzed and benchmarked against sustainability goals (SDGs) in a continuous exercise by exploring innovative solutions in every pillar in the data center infrastructure. Our new facilities are being built and certified to ESTIDAMA Pearl Building Rating (rating of 4 Pearls) and LEED Gold for green building certifications.

Through one of our JV partners, BEEAH, we are exploring ways to convert waste to energy and we are including multiple power and cooling pathways in our designs in order to maximize uptime whilst minimizing the cost of maintenance and energy consumption. We are investigating new technologies to reduce cooling requirements that will be integrated into the data center.

Khazna is also committed to operating environmentally responsible data centers. We are implementing tactics to bring our data centers to net-zero waste standards and certifications, such as introducing ‘durable first’ approach in the global design standards of our facilities, as well as focusing on preventing waste creation by reducing as much water we generate as possible and then reusing or recycling. We are also dedicated to the environment and addressing climate change as our target annual average PUE less than 1.5 and better water usage efficiency.

How is Khazna aligned with UAE’s strategic plans to establish a strong digital economy?

The UAE’s ambition to diversify and build a knowledge based economy is spurring regional entrepreneurship opportunities, accelerating innovation and adoption of technology, and fuelling growth for businesses.

Khazna Data Centers is determined to continue building facilities that address the need for a future-ready digital infrastructure and enrich businesses’ digital resiliency and digital transformation journeys. We are an integral part of the UAE’s digital economy and will continue to enhance the digital business environment, supporting the development of digital companies, attracting leading digital companies to the region, and working alongside the UAE to building the foundation of the digital era.

What are the growth ambitions of Khazna and top priorities for 2023?

Data centers are growing fast with the increased demand from customer’s digital infrastructure adopting new technologies rendering data centers as ever-increasingly indispensable component for the success of companies in the digital era. To meet global demand, providers have been moving forward with their expansion plans and collaborating in building data centers across various markets.

2023 will see Khazna expand its network in the UAE with three more data centers operational by the end of the year as well as the start of construction on Sharjah’s first Tier III data center. Khazna will also continue its growth outside of the UAE and establish a presence in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Egypt.