Dubai Silicon Oasis Highlights Opportunities and Challenges Facing Technology Companies in MENA Region

Published October 21st, 2010 - 01:34 GMT

Buoyed by the drivers of success that include the adoption of high-tech ecosystems, technology companies in the Middle East and North Africa region (MENA) are fast yielding a generation of successful entrepreneurs, according to industry leaders at a seminar organised by Dubai Silicon Oasis (DSO), the integrated free zone technology park.

Titled 'Opportunities and Challenges in Building Technology Companies in the MENA Region', the seminar marked DSO's eighth successive year in the GITEX TECHNOLOGY WEEK 2010 that was held from 17 - 21 October at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre.

The event drew representatives from leading ICT companies including Dr. Usama Fayyad, Executive Chairman of Oasis 500; Faysal Sohail, Managing Director, Energy & Materials and Information Technology at CMEA Capital; Wayne Hull, Director and General Manager for CISCO - UAE; Dr. John Waclawsky, Ex. Chief Software Architect, Motorola Inc, USA; Marvin Blough, Vice-President of Worldwide Sales of SonicWall, Dr. Hazem El Tahawy, Managing Director of Mentor Graphics - Egypt, Rich Goldman, VP of Corporate Marketing at Synopsys – USA, Dr. Mojy Chian – Senior VP Design Enablement Global Foundries, and Jeremy Foster, Head of Government and Industry Relations for Ericsson Middle East and Africa.

Ray Milhem, Chief Technology Officer - Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority, said: "It is a privilege to host seminars that highlight key industry trends and ask the relevant questions. We believe professionals from the region's largest technology players benefited from the perspectives shared by our speakers who are involved in cutting-edge work. We are confident the personal and professional expertise discussed at the seminar will contribute to a better understanding of the current market conditions, its overall challenges and rewarding opportunities."

In his keynote address, Dr. Usama tackled the lack of venture capital funding in the MENA region, reflecting on his past ventures, the challenges he faced and the alternatives he chose to develop his entrepreneurial ventures into successful businesses.

Dr. Mojy Chian stressed on the significance of building efficient ecosystems to manage the technology needs of modern day lifestyles. He also highlighted the pressures facing the Semiconductor industry today from both the design and manufacturing perspectives.

Taking Dr. Chian's perspective forward in a subsequent session during the seminar, Rich Goldman, Vice-President, Corporate Marketing from Synopsys - US, said innovation could be strengthened in the MENA region by providing tools, as well as enhancing educational system to be inline with the needs of the industry and forging strategic partnerships. He added that Synopsys' commitment to this region would be articulated through its focus on supporting the building of a technology ecosystem. Synopsys is also investing in higher education institutes in the MENA region to ensure long-term sustainability.

Dubai Silicon Oasis is a wholly-owned entity of the Government of Dubai and operates as a free zone for semiconductor, microelectronic and other high technology-based companies looking to set up their regional headquarters and research and development (R&D) facilities in the Middle East and Africa region. 

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