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Dubai Internet City - Get, Set and Go

Surfers Respond

Sheikh Mohammad's digital brainchild, Dubai Internet City (DIC) was finally launched on 28th October 2000 in conjunction with Gitex 2000. Capitalising on the rapid growth of the Internet and the anticipated positive fall-out on e-commerce, the Net City (located near American University on Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai) is expected to make Dubai the hub for information technology. The e-business world is fairly buzzing with excitement, for it could mean endless opportunities for Business To Business (B to B), Business to Consumer (B to C) and Consumer to Consumer (C to C) transactions. Refer news report below.

Will DIC be a dynamic catalyst for e-growth as widely anticipated?
Submit your views

DIC in a nutshell
DIC - Best Bits
Microsoft/Oracle in DIC

Excerpts from an article entitled Virtually Real or Really Virtual from Gulf Business - October, 2000

Will DIC be Dubai's new Jebel Ali, or will it just be a pit-stop on the digital highway? According to sources close to DIC, management thinking bases the project's success on whether it can draw regional and international IT companies to Dubai; whether it can bring the best minds in the world to live and work in the emirate and whether it allows them to provide new, revenue-generating services. In short, it will succeed if there is an economic dividend from having these companies and people in Dubai.
Submit your views

Surfers Respond
Mansoor, Dubai
It is the right time to start something like Dubai Internet City. While people viewed it just as a ware house with excellent infrastructure for offering internet services worldwide, now people have started treating DIC as a proper business hub. Dubai is an open market (uncaptured Market) for E-commerce (both B2B and B2C) and all the major multinationals would like to join the bandwagon. That is why I think big giants like Yahoo, Microsoft Corp., Amazon have already gone in for this opportunity. But what I think is that Dubai should seriously promote DIC more as a Software/Internet Development Center. We have plenty of experienced expats who prefer staying back in the UAE rather than working in US or UK, and why not when whatever they earn is theirs(100%tax free). As far as infrastructure is concerned Dubai has the best. So I do think that DIC with proper planning can boost the economy to a very great extent.

Ali, Dubai
If specific requirements are met, Dubai Internet City should work from day one. The way I look at it, DIC should cater to basically two types - first, companies that look on DIC as a warehouse that reaches the Middle East markets and two, companies who now have the opportunity to host their servers locally. Depending on US servers brings its own share of problems like frequent breakdown which in turn disrupts work schedules. Local hosting would be a big boon to internet companies as maintenance of web, application or database servers would be a whole lot easier. Having state-of-the-art Data centers with 24/7 support is also good news for DIC. Bandwidth of 2 Mbps should be ideal.
Adnan Khan, Dubai
The whole issue hinges on the single most important aspect: Internet Service Provider. If the current ISP Etisalat is calling the shots with its disastrous connectivity, chances of DIC's success are slim! That's how I feel. And, I have valid reasons for saying so. Though their telephone services are exceptional, when it comes to the Internet, I am truly sceptical. If DIC is to survive, a proxy-free ISP is essential. That is my two pence about the issue!

DIC in a nutshell

E-business is the buzz-word today and DIC is the new business hub for this rapidly growing global economy - for the New Economy enterprises, to be precise. As the world's first free trade zone for IT, e-business and media companies, it is heralded as a pioneer of sorts. DIC is all about creating a border-less world in which transactions in goods and services are conducted round the clock, round the year, around the world at the mere click of a mouse. According to Mohammed Gergawi, Chairman of Dubai Internet City in Gulf Business, DIC aims to create a cluster economy where it has all software developers, stock-listed brand names, solution providers, logistics companies, venture capitalists, incubator companies and educators in one place.

DIC - Best Bits
  • 100% foreign ownership of business and tax-free status
  • 50-year renewable lease of land; Fully-serviced office space also available on rent
  • One-stop shop for all services. DIC is the sponsor for all employees of companies using the DIC Free Zone. No-hassle company registration laws, fast-track immigration process, 24-hour visa service, fast legal procedures, flexible labour laws (that meet the needs for part-time and temperory labour).
  • Technical Infrastructure - only the best is offered. High bandwidth, low cost telecom & high speed support infrastructure, broadband Internet access, state-of-the-art data centers and server farms provided by top international companies.
  • Access to the best talent in info-tech.
  • Science& Technology Park with an R&D center for new technology innovations and developmental projects.
  • World's first Internet University at DIC to offer cutting edge training and education in e-business.

Microsoft/Oracle in DIC

Microsoft and Oracle offices (under 50-year lease) are expected to be ready by mid 2001. IBM has already made a significant investment in DIC and other major internet focused companes like Sun, CISCO, Yahoo and Infosys are expected to follow suit.

Sheikh Mohammed's Photo courtesy:
By Shanti Kalyaan

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