By Majed Al Suwaidi, Managing Director of Dubai Internet City and Dubai Outsource City
Few will have missed that American tech giant Apple recently launched its first and largest store in the Middle East in Dubai’s Mall of Emirates. While the Emirate has a long history of attracting major tech companies, the recent opening of Apple reaffirms Dubai and the UAE’s position as a global tech hub, and shows that Dubai continues to attract the very best tech companies from around the world.
For nearly two decades, the government has pledged its commitment to ensuring the right framework is in place to support the growth of the ICT sector here, which has included the introduction of light and business-friendly regulations, world-class infrastructure and the creation of industry-focused business communities. Dubai Internet City (DIC) was established 16 years ago, when there were just a handful of tech companies in the Emirate and the ICT sector was still in its infancy, and has since attracted the likes of Google, Microsoft, Facebook and DELL thanks to its sector-specific infrastructure and facilities, as well as access to the wider region and global markets.
DIC has played a major role in supporting Dubai’s development into a dynamic knowledge-economy, and has championed the growth of the Emirate’s ICT sector, attracting (and continuing to attract) businesses and talent from around the world. The UAE was recently named the global leader in attracting talent by LinkedIn for the second consecutive year, highlighting its position as an extremely attractive destination for professionals, and this is a great asset for global companies looking to establish their operations here. The influx of talent to Dubai and the UAE means there are still major business opportunities to come, and is a true indication of Dubai’s development into a dynamic and exciting place to do business.
The National Innovation Strategy announced last year by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, as well as Dubai’s drive to become a smart city, will only continue to make the Emirate a more attractive destination for tech companies. The UAE is now one of the most connected nations, with nearly 88% of the population online, and innovation is being championed by public and private sector across all industries, with a particular focus on tech start-ups and entrepreneurs. We are seeing the development of a genuine tech ecosystem here in Dubai, with a growing pool of local and emerging talent, which, coupled with the large number of global tech giants in the Emirate, is testament to just how far Dubai has come as a business and tech destination.