TECOM Group is Key Driver in Achieving Dubai’s Economic Diversification Vision

17 May 2018

2017 Highlights:

  • Over 86% occupancy rate in TECOM Group’s business communities
  • 90,000 business professionals working within TECOM Group’s business communities
  • 900 technology, education, design, media, science and industry events held during 2017

Malek Al Malek:

  • TECOM is committed to raising the contribution of non-oil sectors to the GDP
  • We will continue to promote Dubai as an international destination for business and innovation

Dubai-UAE: 16 May, 2018 – TECOM Group, a subsidiary of Dubai Holding, one of the world’s leading investment groups, is a key player in strengthening Dubai’s position as a global economic hub and a key destination for business and innovation.

In 2017, TECOM Group continued to develop and grow non-oil sectors, including information technology, media, science, education, design and manufacturing, while providing an enabling environment for business and acting as a catalyst for supporting emerging sectors in Dubai and the wider UAE.

Through delivering Dubai Holding’s strategy of supporting the emirate’s transition to an innovation-led knowledge economy, TECOM Group has played an integral role in the diversification of the economy and in consolidating Dubai’s status as a global business destination.

TECOM’s 11 business parks – Dubai Internet City, Dubai Outsource City, Dubai Media City, Dubai Studio City, Dubai Production City, Dubai Knowledge Park, Dubai International Academic City, Dubai Science Park, Dubai Industrial Park, Dubai Wholesale City and Dubai Design District – attracted over 480 new business partners in 2017, bringing the total number of companies to 5,600. Employing more than 90,000 people from 162 nationalities with the combined annual salaries of AED20 billion, TECOM Group’s business communities also maintained a high occupancy rate of more than 86 per cent. The Group hosted over 900 technology, education, design, media, science and industry events over the past year, boosting the growth of vital economic sectors that drive Dubai’s economic diversification.


Speaking on last year’s outstanding performance, Abdulla Ahmed Al Habbai, Chairman of Dubai Holding, said: “Dubai Holding is a key driver in boosting the economy of Dubai and the wider UAE, and in achieving the long-term vision of our wise leadership to develop the non-oil sectors. As a vital contributor to Dubai’s GDP, TECOM Group is a keen supporter and partner of the emirate’s transition to an innovation-led knowledge economy.”

Malek Al Malek, CEO of TECOM Group, said: “TECOM Group aims to create an optimal and enabling environment for entrepreneurs and businesses. Furthermore, it focuses on implementing the policies developed under Dubai Plan 2021 that addresses the market’s growing needs, and prioritises increasing the contribution of non-oil economic sectors to the GDP and establishing digital transformation enablers to make Dubai the smartest city in the world.”

He added:” Over the past two decades, the Group has created a business experience that is unprecedented in its integration and ability to provide an attractive environment for enterprises from across the world. Our efforts have significantly strengthened Dubai’s position as a global economic hub. We will continue to promote the emirate as a key destination for business and innovation.

“TECOM Group was launched in Dubai in 1999 amid a radical transformation of the global economy and a rapid rise of economic concepts that have changed the international landscape, such as globalisation of trade, industry and knowledge economy, and enabling entrepreneurship and e-commerce. From the outset, the purpose of the Group was not only to keep pace with these transformations, but also to envisage the future and contribute to consolidating Dubai’s status as a global success story.”


Since its inception, TECOM Group has been providing the necessary supportive business setup landscape, enabling environment and integrated infrastructure that constantly evolves, allowing its partners to innovate, grow and expand into the wider region.

Technology is the first economic sector developed by the Group. At the forefront of this sector is Dubai Internet City (DIC), one of the largest information and communications technology (ICT) business parks in the Middle East and North Africa, in addition to Dubai Outsource City, a specialised outsourcing hub. The two communities account for 30 per cent of total business partners within TECOM Group, ranging from major international corporations to small and medium-sized businesses and entrepreneurs, employing 34,000 professionals.

Since its inception, DIC has been shaping the tech business landscape in the region, diversifying the economy and promoting Dubai as a global destination that spearheads digital transformation and provides a conducive ecosystem for world-class companies and innovation centres. Leading multinational corporations that have chosen to call DIC home include Google, Facebook, IBM, Microsoft, Oracle and Snapchat.

Over the years, DIC’s business partners have secured investments from local and international investors totalling AED7.8 billion (US$2 billion). Some of the partners commenced operations as small-scale startups prior to becoming runaway success stories with DIC’s support.

The education, training and HR sector, represented by Dubai International Academic City (DIAC) and Dubai Knowledge Park (DKP), is one of the key pillars of Dubai’s transition to a knowledge-based economy. The two business communities account for ten per cent of all business partners within the group.

DIAC is home to 27 universities, including 22 international campuses of renowned educational institutions from across the globe, catering to 25,000 students from 150 nationalities.

Design is one of the most prominent economic sectors that are gaining momentum in Dubai. Hosting a creative workforce over 8,000-strong, Dubai Design District (d3) has become one of the premier art, fashion and architecture hubs in the region. Housing ten per cent of TECOM Group’s business partners, d3 is also an entertainment and art destination with a portfolio of popular events to its credit, including Dubai Design Week, Fashion Forward and Sole DXB. Key global fashion houses that have joined d3 include Chanel, Dior, BOSS, and Burberry. The business community has also laid the foundation for the iconic Mercedes Benz Tower that will accommodate the automobile manufacturer’s regional corporate headquarters, branches and showrooms.

Dubai Media City, Dubai Studio City and Dubai Production City represent the dynamic media arena with a focus on creative industries such as advertising, filmmaking and production. Companies based here, including CNN, BBC, Discovery Networks, YouTube Space and Disney, employ over 34,500 people and make up the largest share of TECOM Group’s business partners – 35 per cent.

In the industrial sector, Dubai Industrial Park (DI) is the leading industry and logistics hub in the MENA region and a key contributor to reinforcing Dubai’s position as the regional trade and manufacturing powerhouse. DI accounts for 10 per cent of total business partners. The park announced an AED135 million infrastructure expansion in line with the growth of the industrial sector in Dubai and the UAE. Furthermore, DI launched the third phase of light industrial units and refrigerated warehouses that comprise 197 warehousing facilities spanning 1.5 million square feet.

TECOM Group has also enabled the science sector through creating Dubai Science Park (DSP). DSP today is home to five per cent of TECOM Group’s business partners, including global pharma giants Bayer and Pfizer, that employ over 3,700 industry professionals. In line with the worldwide surge in interest in biosciences and medical robots, DSP spearheads the growth of the science sector in the region and contributes to the development of the Dubai Industrial Strategy 2030, especially in the pharmaceuticals and medical equipment sector.


Malek Al Malek said: “TECOM Group continues to serve as a vital contributor to Dubai’s economic growth through attracting companies from around the world. Our team is determined to sustain the momentum of enriching the business environment in Dubai and the wider region with pioneering projects and exceptional solutions that reflect the highly competitive spirit of TECOM and enhance Dubai’s ranking on international indicators of innovation and economic competitiveness.”

In 2017, TECOM Group welcomed several global organisations that chose to call its business communities home, including e-commerce giant Amazon and international academic institutions such as BMI Media, Curtin University and the University of Birmingham. Moreover, the University of Birmingham opened its campus at DIAC, becoming the first top-100-ranked university to establish an outpost in Dubai.

In addition, the Group announced the launch of the first YouTube Space in the Middle East and North Africa at Dubai Studio City. Dubai Internet City is now home to 11 innovation centres including Cisco, Oracle and SAP.


While TECOM Group has succeeded in attracting the world’s largest companies to its business communities, it has also always focused on supporting emerging talents, startups as well as small and medium-sized businesses that are the mainstay of the economy. A major catalyst in the Group’s success in this regard was the creation of in5, an innovation hub that aims to nurture fledgling companies to their next phase of growth.

With its three innovation centres focused on tech, design and media, located in Dubai Internet City, Dubai Design District and Dubai Production City, in5 assists promising startups through business setup, smart labs, creative spaces, mentorship, training, events and access to investors. The number of in5 partners has reached nearly 160, and these enterprises have succeeded in raising funds of AED190 million.


Today, TECOM Group continues its upward trajectory in line with Dubai’s aspirations to acquire prime positions in global innovation, competitiveness and excellence rankings. The Group continues to expand its portfolio of projects to shape integrated business environments that attract the world’s leading organisations and position Dubai’s economy as a global model of a diversified, sustainable and resilient ecosystem that adapts and excels with every transformation.

The Group is set to complete several key development projects in 2018. Huawei International Technology will inaugurate its regional headquarters in Dubai Internet City. Meanwhile, Dubai Knowledge Park is set to witness the expansion of the University of Wollongong campus in Dubai.

This year will also see the completion of development work at the Innovation Hub Phase 1 in Dubai Internet City that aims to accelerate the transformation of Dubai into a smart city and support the knowledge-based economy through promoting global partnerships with world-class players in innovation and technology.

Furthermore, works on the headquarters of Dubai Science Park have entered their final stages. Dubai Science Park is poised to become a leading business destination attracting international companies operating in diverse scientific disciplines.


TECOM Group has been a key contributor to the local knowledge economy in more ways than one. The leadership of its business communities comprises passionate and committed executives, who have risen through the ranks to form a team driven by 100 per cent UAE nationals that enable Dubai’s and the wider UAE’s economic diversification, making the Group an important source of home-grown talent.

As part of TECOM Group’s growth strategy, Abdulla Belhoul will take on the new role of Chief Commercial Officer to drive the growth of the Group’s 11 business communities and expansion of its service offering. He will spearhead the Group’s journey of success and maximise returns while ensuring the provision of best-in-class experiences for all business partners and introducing new functions to empower young leaders to play a key role in the next phase of TECOM’s growth.

During 2017, TECOM Group organised over 200 training programmes that comprised more than 1,000 sessions.


In 2017, TECOM continued its community outreach initiatives as part of its sustained corporate social responsibility (CSR) mandate. The Group established partnerships with local institutions working in charitable and humanitarian fields, primarily those focused on education and health. The partners of Dubai International Academic City and Dubai Knowledge Park offered scholarships worth AED35 million to more than 2,800 students in the UAE, in addition to executing a range of other CSR initiatives.


2017 also marked a year of industry distinctions for TECOM Group’s business communities. TECOM won the Dubai Smart Initiative Award for its enabling environment for smart businesses. Dubai Design District received a LEED certification for engineering innovation and leadership in eco-friendly, energy-saving design, and Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) honoured Dubai Science Park with the Green Economy Award. Meanwhile, TECOM Group’s smart integrated business service platform, axs, was recognised for Excellence in Smart Government and Cities at the 23rd edition of the Middle East Excellence Awards.


Speaking on the future direction of TECOM Group, Malek Al Malek said: “We will continue enhancing Dubai’s business ecosystem, enabling new industries and exploring future transformations. We will work relentlessly to shape an environment that facilitates the integration of new business models in the economic landscape, and leads the uptake of bioscience, new media and artificial intelligence.”

He added: “We are also committed to creating unparalleled business opportunities that reinforce Dubai’s leading position as a smart city and a world-class destination to live and work. To achieve this priority, we are building on six pillars: developing sustainable smart infrastructure, facilitating business, attracting talent, investing in human capital, supporting entrepreneurship and promoting critical work environments.”