Dubai celebrated October 28 in a definite IT mode, first with the launch of the giant Gitex 2000 trade fair and then with the official opening of Dubai Internet City high-tech industrial project, by General Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, the crown prince of Dubai and the UAE defense minister.
Quoted in Gulf News. the crown prince said that when he first announced the Dubai Internet City project just one day short of a year before, his intention was to transform Dubai into the regional hub of the new economy.
He compared what he had done to the dredging of the Creek by his late father, Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al-Maktoum, more than 40 years ago, which he characterized as “the first important step taken to convert Dubai as a regional business hub.”
"Today, Dubai Internet City is the first important step undertaken in creating an e-creek in Dubai, a place around which e-business can flourish," the crown prince said. To date, more than 190 companies have registered at the Dubai Internet City, and with two months 3,000 professionals are expected to be working at the complex.
Earlier in the day, at the inauguration Gitex 2000, Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, the UAE minister of finance and industry, had described Dubai Internet City as a gateway for local companies planning to enter the region’s Internet and communications sectors. Foreign companies, he said, are also being allowed entry into the complex, but only after due feasibility studies are conducted to determine the likely value added to the local economy.
To mark the opening of Dubai Internet City, the complex’s management sponsored "e-biz" challenge, the winners of which were announced over the weekend. They were Vertscape and Makook of the UAE and Divinet of India. Each of the winners will receive $150,000 as incubation support, with the intention being that they develop their e-business plans in the new complex.
Makook’s proposal is to create an online auction platform that targets the Middle East and African markets. Vertscape put together a proposal that provides the infrastructure and services necessary to enable small- and medium-sized adapt to an e-commerce environment. Divinet proposed a broadband metropolitan network called RAMNet, which is designed to provide low-cost broadband Internet access.
The e-biz challenge received over 1,380 entries from 34 countries. The business plans of 24 companies were selected for consideration, and 10 teams made it to the finals. — (Albawaba-MEBG)
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