The Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority (DSOA), the regulatory body for Dubai Silicon Oasis (DSO), the integrated free zone technology park, on Monday announced its plans to provide support to start-ups and seed ventures engaged in the Islamic economy domain through the Dubai Technology Entrepreneurship Centre (DTEC), the largest facility of this type in the region.
The announcement is in line with DSOA's commitment to support Dubai's ‘Capital of Islamic Economy' initiative launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the U.A.E. and Ruler of Dubai.
Set to be operational by Q1 2015, DTEC will provide start-ups that offer solutions built around the requirements of an Islamic economy, particularly initiatives that focus on digital and online Arabic content, a nurturing business environment across an area of 3,600 square metres.
In addition to providing logistical support, seed money and relevant incentives, DSO will engage the support of its partners including international technology companies to host global events, road-shows and networking platforms towards marketing Dubai as the platform of choice for Arabic content creation and online solutions.
Commenting on this initiative, Dr Mohammed Alzarooni, Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority (DSOA), said: "DSO will utilise the DTEC as an effective hub in nurturing start-ups that are focused on developing Islamic products and solutions. We are confident the centre will become a knowledge resource for education and research that form the fundamental pillars of an Islamic economy. Such government-led initiatives will help set the stage for innovation-led investments that will in turn drive the growth of entrepreneurship in the U.A.E..”
"Dubai's growing focus on digital technology and innovation has begun to attract global capital for the creation of Islamic design products. This has placed the emirate in prime position as a digital economy platform and an international hub for Islamic e-commerce,” Dr. Alzarooni added.
Essa Kazim, Governor of Dubai International Financial Centre and Secretary General of Dubai Islamic Economy Development Centre, said: "The Dubai Silicon Oasis initiative supports our strategy at the Dubai Islamic Economy Development Centre in shaping the emirate as the Capital of Islamic Economy. SMEs are a major contributor to the country's Islamic economy. In the MENA region, SMEs contribute up to 45 per cent of employment and up to 33 per cent of the GDP. The next wave of growth in the Islamic digital and content segment will be driven by entrepreneurs with the foresight and drive to take up a business concept and turn it into a successful venture.”
In October 2013, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum launched the strategic plan for developing the Islamic economy sector. The strategic plan relies on seven main pillars which include the establishment of Dubai as a global reference and economic engine of Islamic finance, a trusted name and solutions provider for the halal industry, a destination of choice for family friendly tourism, a pioneer of the Islamic digital economy, a capital of Islamic fashion, arts and design, a leading global network of information and education on the Islamic economy, and a world class centre for Islamic economy standards and certification.
A wholly-owned entity of the Dubai government, Dubai Silicon Oasis operates as a free zone technology park for the semiconductor, microelectronic and other high technology-based companies looking to set up their regional headquarters and research and development facilities in the Middle East and North Africa region.
It may be mentioned that the DSOA's urban master-planned community spans 7.2 square kilometres of state of the art office towers, R&D and industrial zones, educational institutions, luxury apartments, villas, hotels, healthcare and a full range of lifestyle facilities which translate into a dynamic commercial and social environment. Businesses can flourish under the unrivalled package of incentives, including 100 per cent ownership and high end IT infrastructure that allows companies to begin operating immediately.