A joint project between the UAE's Telecommunication Regulatory Authority (TRA) and the Frankfurt IXP, DE-CIX has resulted in the establishment of the country's first neutral exchange, UAE-IX, in Dubai in October 2012. A year later, UEA-IX had gained 20 participating members that collectively service about 55% of the users in the Middle East.
One of the factors responsible for this growth is the so-called UAE-IX Transit Zone, created with the support of the TRA. The Transit Zone is considered an “off-shore” location where customers can land their own international capacity into the Transit Zone via one of the local operators. Customers can set up their interconnection and peering activities within the Transit Zone to non-UAE based entities without the need for a UAE Telecom Licence. Content hosted in or passing through the Transit Zone is not subject to any content filtering requirements.
The exchange is run as an independent company that is wholly owned by DE-CIX, one of the largest exchanges in the world. UAE-IX operates on a redundant switching platform located in two data centres in the International Media Production Zone (IMPZ) in Dubai: Datamena and Equinix.