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Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority Registers 11.2% Revenue Growth to Notch Up AED590.5 Million in 2017

  • 9.5% growth in profits in 2017
  • 2,459 companies currently operational, an increase of 339 companies and rise of 16% over 2016
  • 1.3 million square meters of projects under construction
  • AED101 million investment for construction of sixth phase of light industrial units
  • 82% of companies operating in DSO specialize in technology
  • Dubai Smart City Accelerator launched at cost of AED19 million
  • Foundation stone for Silicon Park laid, to be developed with AED1.3 billion investments
  • 40% completion rate of Silicon Park, the first integrated smart city in Dubai

Dubai-UAE: 10th March, 2018 - His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority (DSOA), the regulatory body for Dubai Silicon Oasis (DSO) today announced that the integrated free zone technology park has achieved remarkable results in 2017 with a total revenue of AED590.5 million and growth of 11.2% compared to the previous year. Overall profits reached AED205.7 million, a surge of 9.5% compared to 2016. The entity also witnessed an increase of 16% in business partners, with a total of 2,459 companies currently operating within the high-tech park.

His Highness said the results reflect the continued growth of the technology sector. He further stressed that Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority is keen to implement innovative and smart initiatives and projects that contribute to sustainable development while supporting the emirate's economy, which is steadily moving towards a future based on diversity, progress and knowledge rather than the conventional dependence on oil.

His Highness added that Dubai Silicon Oasis has become one of the most important free zones in the region attracting international and regional technology companies to establish their business and augment their expansion and operations in the region. He said such growth is facilitated by the modern infrastructure provided by DSO, backed by Dubai's advanced network of airports, ports, roads, as well as specialized free zones and a legislative environment that draws continued foreign direct investment.


Dr Mohammed Al Zarooni, Vice Chairman and CEO of DSOA, said that DSO’s continued success in growing and delivering profits lies in its ability to offer services and facilities that meet the needs of business partners in line with its vision of developing a high-tech city that attracts global technology companies.

Dr Al Zarooni further noted that Dubai Silicon Oasis is attracting a steady influx of technology companies. This is evidenced in the number of companies based in DSO rising from 2,120 in 2016 to 2,459 in 2017, marking an increase of 339 companies.

Among the companies based in Dubai Silicon Oasis, 37% are from the Middle East and Africa, 23% are from Europe, 33% are from Asia, and 7% are American. 82% of these companies are specialized in technology while 18% focus on commercial services and other service sectors.

During 2016, revenues from the leased land area increased by 33.5%, while revenues from services fees increased by 21.8% compared to 2016.

Silicon Park and Smart Services

In February 2017, His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum unveiled the memorial plaque for Silicon Park and laid the foundation stone for the project that will emerge as the first integrated smart city in Dubai. At a cost of AED1.3 billion, the project spans an area of 150,000 square meters and is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2019.

Dr Al Zarooni pointed out that the project, which has achieved 40% completion, will comprise 71,000 square meters of office space, 25,000 square meters of commercial space, 46,000 square meters of residential area, and the 112-key and 59 furnished apartment complex Radisson RED Dubai Silicon Oasis. In addition, it will feature contemporary lifestyle facilities, such as restaurants, cafés, prayer rooms, a shopping center, and an underground car park that can accommodate more than 2,500 vehicles.

Designed to offer an efficient, seamless, safe, and impactful city experience for residents and visitors to DSO, the project will incorporate 60 smart services worth AED100 million, leveraging sustainable and energy-efficient technologies in compliance with LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) standards, including solar photovoltaic panels covering 34% of the roof area. The smart practices at DSO aim to increase security and privacy for the residents and guests in the community. Based on that, DSO has introduced a series of services, which measure the noise and water levels, and air quality. This is in addition to the tracking system that identifies the location of children and minors and ensures the safety of children. Similarly, the entity has implemented the ‘Child Online Protection’ initiative that was established by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) to protect children worldwide against cyber threats.

In line with its strategy to build a smart, integrated city, Silicon Park will include smart street solutions and smart building technology that will enable the efficient and sustainable consumption of energy, conserve the environment, and reduce operational costs.

Smart Education and Knowledge Economy

In May 2017, Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority (DSOA) graduated the first cohort of students from the Masters of City Science program at the Rochester Institute of Technology - Dubai. Accredited by the Commission for Academic Accreditation at the Ministry of Education, the program is the first of its kind in the MENA region and is in line with the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to enhance Dubai’s position as the smartest and happiest city in the world.

In addition, DSOA, in cooperation with RIT Dubai, launched the Corporate Happiness Professional Diploma, the first of its kind in the Middle East aimed at enhancing the happiness of employees, customers, residents and visitors of the UAE.

Commenting on the program, His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum said: "The curriculum aims to achieve the objectives of the UAE’s happiness agenda, where students are taught the basic concepts of happiness and refine their skills in applying these concepts in the workplace. The program explores ways and mechanisms that enhance the happiness of employees and customers in the private and public sectors.”

Dubai Smart City Accelerator

Aligned with the smart education initiatives launched by DSOA, His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum inaugurated the Dubai Smart City Accelerator, the first of its kind in the MENA region to specialize in smart city technologies. Located within Dubai Technology Entrepreneurship Centre (Dtec), which is wholly owned by DSOA, the AED19 million accelerator aims to empower startups and entrepreneurs developing innovative solutions for cities to become smarter and overcome the challenges of traffic congestion, waste and energy. The program won the Incubator/Accelerator of the Year Award 2017 at the Arabian Business Startup Awards 2017.

Agreements and Partnerships

DSO saw the inauguration of Schneider Electric’s Innovation Hub on Wheels, showcasing its next-generation EcoStruxure™ architecture and platform that delivers IoT-enabled open and interoperable solutions across user segments.

Designed to run digital demos using videos and customer references, the Innovation Hub on Wheels presents 17 user case studies across six domains of expertise to highlight the value of the EcoStruxure™ architecture. These user domains include building, transportation, water and waste water, oil and gas, utility and data centre. The mobile center can easily change its location to various exhibitions to better inform customers and the general public of its innovative platform, especially for energy and technology entrepreneurs.

Supporting Innovative Startups

Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with global payments technology company, Visa, to jointly support innovative startups and exchange knowledge of emerging technologies.

As per the MoU, the two parties will collaborate to raise awareness about innovation and emerging technologies in the field of payment solutions through shared events, workshops, and hackathons. Furthermore, the MoU mandates networking between specialists from the two entities, as well as knowledge exchange in their respective areas of expertise.

The partnership offers DSOA access to Visa’s global innovation network and the opportunity to recommend qualified startups from Dubai Technology Entrepreneurship Centre (Dtec) – its wholly owned technology incubation centre and the largest of its kind in the region - for the Visa Venture Program, the company’s in-house venture capital arm that invests in early-stage technology startups. In return, Visa enjoys access to Dtec and the startups based within, with the option to refer suitable candidates to the facility.

Innovative Mobility Solutions

DSOA and Volkswagen Middle East signed a strategic partnership on the side-lines of the 37th Gitex Technology Week 2017. The two-year partnership opens doors for mutual support of startups with innovative mobility initiatives across the GCC region. The strategic partnership aims to help define the future of mobility in the region through dedicated events, targeted mentorship, and accelerator programs that will take place at the Dubai Technology Entrepreneur Centre (Dtec).

Artificial Intelligence for Accident Prevention

The Smart Dubai Office (SDO) signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Roads & Transport Authority (RTA), Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority (DSOA), and Derq Systems on the side-lines of the 37th Gitex Technology Week 2017.

In line with the Dubai Government’s strategic direction on smart cities that focuses on six pillars – life, society, mobility, economy, governance, and environment – SDO joined hands with DSOA, RTA, and Derq to pool their energies and resources to examine and promote the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in accident prevention by facilitating the exchange of information, innovation and ideas. The synergy builds on the existing strengths of the organizations and establishes a framework for cooperation.

Development Projects

As part of its efforts to complete the integrated city project that meets the demands of all employees, residents and visitors, DSOA and external investors continue to develop a total of 1.3 million square meters of projects, including more than 40 projects. In 2017, construction work was completed for 24 projects spanning a total area of 457,016 square meters.

Furthermore, 58% of the construction work at the Dr Soliman Fakeeh Hospital and the Medical University project in DSO has been completed. The project aims to contribute to academic advancement and offer quality medical services to support the local healthcare sector. Dubbed the University Hospital, the AED1 billion project, which covers an area of 150,000 square meters, will be built in two phases and is expected to be completed by 2019.

With more than three decades of experience in healthcare and hospital management, the DSO-based hospital will offer 4,000 new jobs while providing world-class medical services through its new 300-bed educational hospital. The University Hospital will focus on family health care and patient-focused services by targeting the growing number of residents in DSO as well as the surrounding areas. The hospital is equipped to provide secondary and specialized medical services supported by comprehensive diagnostic centers, primarily family and patient-focused services, and can welcome 700,000 patients annually, with the ability to receive an estimated 40,000 inpatient conditions and conduct 20,000 surgeries annually.

The proposed hospital also serves as a full-service medical institution supported by centers of excellence in medical and surgical subspecialties, maternal and child health, cardiology and spinal surgery, cosmetic laser surgery, and obesity management.

In 2017, Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum unveiled the commemorative plaque and laid the foundation stone for Silicon Mall – the new 2.3 million sq feet shopping mall developed by Lulu Group International (Lulu Group) at the hi-tech park. The total investment on this new project is expected to be around AED1 billion.

Leveraging best-in-class international standards and green building concepts, the Silicon Mall at Dubai Silicon Oasis will offer covered parking for up to 3,000 vehicles. In addition to more than 300 international and local branded stores and 12 anchor stores, the new shopping mall will also house the Lulu Hypermarket and department store on two levels. Other key attractions include a family entertainment center spread across 70,000 square feet, a diverse mix of entertainment and leisure offerings alongside more than 50 F&B outlets.

Light Industrial Units

The Light Industrial Units project is one of DSOA’s strategic investments that contribute to enhancing DSO’s position as a preferred destination for international industrial companies, especially in the field of manufacturing and technology assembly.

The 18,000-square meter development is in line with DSOA's strategy to create an integrated business environment and state-of-the-art technology infrastructure that provides ready solutions to existing and potential customers looking to build their headquarters or expand their business in the region.

At the end of the fifth phase that was completed in January 2017, DSOA’s total investment in the project reached approximately AED223 million. The sixth and final phase of the project, set for completion in Q1 2019, has been launched at a total cost of AED101 million.

Dubai Technology Entrepreneur Centre

In December 2015, Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority (DSOA) launched Dubai Technology Entrepreneur Centre (Dtec), the largest technology incubator center in the Middle East. Over the past years, Dtec has attracted 813 startups from 70 countries, with a grow rate of 25% from 650 startups in 2016.

The Dtec based startup companies are distributed by country, where 32% originated in the Middle East and Africa, 41% from Asia, 15% from Europe, 5% from the United States and Canada, as well as 5% from the GCC region, and 2% from Australia.

Leadership in supporting Islamic economy initiatives

In line with the Dubai: ‘Capital of Islamic Economy’ initiative launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, DSOA unveiled its Free Zones Outlook Report in 2017, developed in collaboration with Thomson Reuters. The report identifies cities where free zones are best positioned to drive the growth of Islamic economy sectors and ranks Dubai as the world’s leading Islamic economy-enabling free zone city, followed by Kuala Lumpur and Johor Bahru in Malaysia, and Manama in Bahrain.

The Free Zone Report is a reference on niche economies that drive the growth of Islamic economy sectors. It outlines the contribution of free zones to the various sectors of the Islamic economy based on their attractiveness to companies and entrepreneurs working in this domain.

Stressing the importance of DSOA’s role in supporting the Islamic economy sector in Dubai, Dr Alzarooni said: “Through Dtec, we support startups in the fields of technology, digital Islamic economy, online Arabic content, and smart city initiatives. DSOA’s ultimate aim is to contribute to shaping the UAE’s post-oil economy.”

To its credit, DSOA won the Islamic Economy Award in the category of SME Development. The award recognizes DSOA’s efforts in supporting entrepreneurs and startups working in the fields of Islamic digital economy and Arabic content, and providing top notch benefits and facilities through the Dubai Technology Entrepreneur Centre.

18 Local and international achievements and awards.

In the year 2017, DSOA continued its active participation in world-class activities and events. The outings helped the destination stay abreast of latest technological innovations, while promoting its smart solutions and sharing experiences with decision makers, attracting new customers and communicating with technology experts from all over the world.

Over the past year, DSOA won 18 prestigious awards from local and international organizations, including the ISO 22301:2012 Business Continuity Management certification for ensuring continuity and recovery of critical business processes and services. On this accomplishment, His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum said: “The ISO certification is the sixth addition to DSOA’s record of achievements since its inception. Dubai Silicon Oasis continues to renew its commitment to the vision of our wise leadership through ensuring the delivery of superior quality services across all areas and contributing to shaping Dubai into the smartest and happiest city in the world.”

Notably, DSOA received Dubai Energy Award’s special excellence category. Organized by Dubai Energy and Water Authority (DEWA) on the sidelines of the WETEX exhibition that DSOA supported as a strategic partner, the ceremony saw His Highness.Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum presenting the award to Dr Mohammed Al Zarouni.

DSOA also received the prestigious ‘Best Infrastructure Innovation Award’ for its Silicon Park project at the annual Global Telecoms Business (GTB) Innovation Awards held in London. The award recognizes the industry’s most significant project partnerships and showcases the very best projects in telecommunications. More specifically, the award celebrates DSOA’s collaboration with smart city advisory and managed services provider NXN towards the establishment of Dubai’s first integrated smart city project at the high-tech park.

DSOA won status awards of Dubai Technology Entrepreneur Centre (Dtec) for the Best Emerging Companies Program for 2017 and the Best Business Incubator/Accelerator for 2017 for Dubai Smart Cities Accelerator at the Arabian Business Awards for Emerging Companies. DSOA was also awarded 'Best Entrepreneurship Centre of 2017' for its Dtec centre at the Middle East Agility Awards, organized by the prestigious Entrepreneur Middle East magazine.

Furthermore, at the 9th Global Continual Improvement & Innovation Symposium & Competition 2017, DSOA won first place for the Innovation Management Framework Award in the Best Practice Management category for its case study ‘Innovation Management Framework’, and first place in the Happiness category for its case study ‘Happiness Ecosystem’. The annual event is organized by the Dubai Quality Group to promote the exchange of information and highlight best practices of quality, institutional excellence, and case studies in the government and private sector.




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