Oman Data Park launches Nebula AI service in the Sultanate

MUSCAT, October 2020

Oman Data Park launches Nebula AI service in the Sultanate as a Cloud Service Provider in the NVIDIA Partner Network.

Maqbool Al-Wahaibi: The launch of AI service enables the Sultanate to store its data internally.

Muscat, 6th October 2021: As one of the vital enablers contributing to the improvement of productivity in economic sectors and a key pillar driving the national economy for technological transformation, Oman Data Park (ODP), the Sultanate’s first IT-managed and cloud services provider, has launched Nebula AI service today by joining the NVIDIA Partner Network (NPN) Cloud Service Provider Partner Program.

The launching ceremony was under the patronage of H.E. Dr. Ali bin Amer Al Shidani, Undersecretary for Communications and Information Technology, Ministry of Transport, Communications and Information Technology in presence of high-level VIP delegations, business, and media representatives. The event was also graced by both virtual and physical presenters covering various aspects of AI and its benefits and was live streamed to a wider audience.

The launch of the Nebula AI platform, the first of its kind in Oman, comes in line with Oman’s vision for 2040 and within the Sultanate’s exerted efforts to keep pace with the latest technological developments in the field of computing, compatible with the requirements of the fourth industrial revolution and AI.

The Sultanate had advanced 11 positions in the government’s readiness index for implementing AI in 2020, while it ranked 48th globally and sixth in the Middle East, according to the Oxford Insight Index.

Highlighting the Importance of AI for Oman’s economy, Eng. Maqbool Al Wahaibi, CEO, Oman Data Park stated: “AI is transforming every industry, whether it is by improving customer relationships in financial services, streamlining manufacturer supply chains, or helping doctors deliver better outcomes for patients. It gives us great pleasure to be at the forefront to provide this platform, which will enhance the technological transformation processes in the Sultanate in order to accelerate the utilization of AI in various economic fields in Oman.”

“As the launching of Nebula AI service will contribute to sealing Oman’s entry into the world of AI, Oman Data Park has practically proven its success of bringing innovative services to Oman to fuel further economic growth. Coupled with our impeccable track record of over nine years of service in the cloud services industry, we now look forward to helping businesses leap ahead on innovation and profitability through the use of AI, both locally and beyond,” Maqbool Al Wahaibi added.

Joining virtually for the event, Mr. Jaap Zuiderveld, vice president, EMEA at NVIDIA, stated, “AI is transforming every industry, helping nations and businesses solve their biggest challenges in agriculture, healthcare, climate and more. As an NVIDIA NPN partner, Oman Data Park is helping to grow the nation’s AI expertise to create new opportunities with the world’s leading AI systems.”

Al Wahaibi also said that the utilization of AI services is considered an important factor for improving the productivity of many economic sectors, such as banking and finance, energy, healthcare, logistics and retail. It saves time and money and enhances operational efficiencies, as well as leads to an increase in revenue. AI also enhances the performance of sophisticated intellectual tasks such as decision making and problem solving, as well as increases customer services proactively.

He also highlighted that the Nebula AI service platform is powered by the NVIDIA DGX A100 system, which is suitable for all AI workloads, offering unprecedented compute density, performance, and flexibility in the world’s first 5 petaFLOPS AI system. This will enable both government and private sector entities to explore the various benefits of AI with the guarantee of data sovereignty, security, and reliability.

 

A teaming agreement was also signed at the launch, between ODP’s CEO Eng. Al Wahaibi and Bikal UK’s CEO Mr. Raj Sandhu, which was attended by James Goldman, Deputy Head of Mission, British Embassy Muscat.

A statement from H.E. Mr. Bill Murray, Her Majesty’s Ambassador to the Sultanate of Oman stated, “Technology is an area of strength for the UK in particular, with London recognised as the ‘AI capital of Europe.’ The potential for collaboration between the UK and Oman in the technology sector is vast, and I am excited by this partnership between Oman Data Park and Bikal. It will create job opportunities and support the development of Oman’s tech ecosystem and local talent in alignment with Vision 2040. Congratulations to ODP and Bikal!”

“Our collaboration with Oman Data Park is key to the creation of new AI and 5G technologies in Oman and the GCC. Having a forward-looking partner in the region will enable Bikal to bring UK university researched innovations with the ability to develop the tech locally. This partnership will open joint opportunities in Oman and the UK over the coming years,” said Raj Sandhu, CEO, BIKAL UK.

According to a PWC research, AI is estimated to contribute around 15.7 trillion USD globally by 2030, while the Middle East is estimated to accrue 2% of the total global benefits of AI in 2030, which is equivalent to 320 billion USD. The forecast reports also show that annual growth is expected to range between 20-34% per year across the region.

Forecasts from Gartner indicate that by 2025, 50% of enterprises will have devised AI orchestration platforms to operationalize AI, up from fewer than 10% in 2020. By 2025, AI will be the top category driving infrastructure decisions, due to the maturation of the AI market, resulting in a tenfold growth in compute requirements. And by 2025, 10% of governments will use a synthetic population with realistic behavior patterns to train AI while avoiding privacy and security concerns.

It is noteworthy that ODP has greatly contributed to providing cloud computing services, cloud storage, cloud networking, as well as web hosting and cyber security services. ODP operates an advanced Virtual Data Center across Oman in the field of cyber security based on the latest industry standards, helping customers mitigate risks with its services and save up to 55% on the total cost of ownership compared to traditional data centers.