Around eight weeks after the system went operational on 1 October 2012, more than ten internet service providers (ISPs) are connected to the UAE-IX, a carrier-neutral internet traffic exchange point in Dubai. Customers of the UAE-IX, which is managed by Frankfurt-based DE-CIX Management, one of the world’s largest operators of internet exchange points, include content delivery networks (CDN), carriers and ISPs. Akamai, a provider of cloud platform and CDN services, was one of the first networks to be connected to UAE-IX. ‘The connection to the UAE-IX is a critical part of Akamai’s peering strategy in the Middle East,’ commented Christian Kaufmann, director Network Architecture at Akamai, adding: ‘It provides us with a more direct access to local providers in the region while lowering the latency and therefore ensuring higher-performing user experiences on any device, anywhere in the Middle East.’ Other customers include Research In Motion (RIM), UAE telco Du and Gulfsat Communications Company, based in Kuwait. The UAE-IX is built on a fully redundant switching platform located in a neutral secure data centre in Dubai, and claims to reduce latency times by up to 80% and costs by up to 70% for providers based in the Gulf region. Moreover, UAE-IX will improve IP network resilience and robustness and will also help provide reliable connectivity within the Gulf region.