The Duqm Special Economic Zone Authority (SEZAD) has announced the launch of a data and cloud services centre in Oman’s rapidly developing port town of Duqm.

Established by Oman Data Park, the centre is the third facility of its kind the company has implemented in the country, and is designed to provide a wide range of cloud services to government agencies and companies operating in the zone.

The centre is expected to provide greater reliability, speed, and reduced downtime compared to data centres in the international markets, Oman News Agency (ONA) reported.

READ: Official says Oman's Duqm Airport to start operations in 2018

The project will reportedly also contribute to reducing costs of international communication, an obstacle that has dissuaded companies from moving to the cloud.

Quoting Yahya bin Said al-Jabri, chairman of the SEZAD board of directors, ONA noted that the development of the centre spells “the beginning of the era of the cloud services market in the zone”.

Sami bin Ahmed al-Ghassani, chairman of Oman Data Park, commented: "Through the data centre, information managers will [be assured] that their data is hosted in a local data centre that [fully complies] with data protection laws in the Sultanate."

Meanwhile, Eng Omar bin Salim al-Shanfri, deputy chief executive officer of Information Technology Authority (ITA) for operations added: "ITA is working to encourage the private sector to invest in the provision of cloud services as such projects include services like cloud computing."