Dubai Internet City (DIC), the MENA region’s largest ICT cluster, and Dubai Outsource Zone (DOZ), the world’s first freezone dedicated to the outsourcing industry, demonstrated significant growth over the course of 2013 and welcomed 181 new companies into their offering.
The ICT industry in the UAE is thriving, with ICT expenditure forecast to grow by 5% to over $15 billion in 2014, according to a recent report by leading global market intelligence firm IDC. 2013 also saw significant developments within the industry, including the announcement by HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum in October that Dubai would be developed into a ‘Smart City’ which will drive the emirate’s ICT and technology industry.
Dubai Internet City and Dubai Outsource Zone, which are part of TECOM Investments, a member of Dubai Holding, are now home to 1600 business partners, which includes over 60% of the Fortune 500 companies in the Software, Hardware, Internet Services and Information Technology Companies category including Microsoft, Oracle, Dell and Facebook, as well as leading global multinationals and local SMEs and start-ups.
A number of the Fortune 500 companies based in DIC largely increased their presence over the course of 2013, including Hewlett Packard, DELL and IBM ME.
In line with HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s vision of driving entrepreneurship and the technology industry, Dubai Internet City championed the development of tech start-ups and launched in5 in May 2013, under the patronage of HH Sheikh Majid bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. in5 innovation hub provides infrastructure, support and a dynamic working environment for ICT, mobile and digital start-ups, and currently plays host to 33 tech start-ups and entrepreneurs.
Majed Al Suwaidi, Managing Director, DIC and DOZ, commented;
“2013 was a very positive year for Dubai, with the winning of Expo 2020 and the introduction of Dubai’s Smart City initiative. It has also been a strong year for DIC and DOZ, with the welcoming of a large number of new companies into our community, and the expansion of some of our largest existing business partners.
Supporting entrepreneurs as well as our larger business partners has been a key focus over the past year, and we have witnessed great synergy between some of our larger more established business partners and start-ups and entrepreneurs. For example, a MoU was signed between Microsoft and in5 at GITEX to provide in5 start-ups with access to Microsoft’s BizSpark software program, solidifying their commitment to start-ups. Over the course of 2014 we will continue to drive the development of the ICT industry as well as start-ups, and to carry forward Dubai’s vision to be a leading knowledge-based economy.”