The Smart Techie was renamed Siliconindia India Edition starting Feb 2012 to continue the nearly two decade track record of excellence of our US edition.

Dubai Internet City - Distant Destination?

Vasanthi Sundaram
Sunday, October 27, 2002
Vasanthi Sundaram
THE CAFETERIA AT DUBAI INTERNET CITY (DIC) could surely claim the prize for being the most unique food court in the world. Where else would you find so many nationalities sharing such easy camaraderie? Whether it's the dapper-looking guy from a Fortune 500 striking deals over falafel and fruit cocktail, or an eager Emarati whose dishdash can't quite camouflage his acquired American drawl, or a team of young, Indian techies hungry to grab a piece of the lucrative IT pie-the place epitomizes the essence of the DIC.

To a first time visitor of the DIC, the casually-dubbed “Silicon Valley of the Middle East” gives the impression of an Arabian condominium, an archetypal reflection of convention and the latest trends. Even as the assembly of tall, ethnic pillars overpowers, the smart glass buildings, sprawled over acres of lush green, reassure that modernity indeed stems out of tradition-which is probably why no matter how global Dubai becomes, it remains perpetually rooted in the local.

The CEO of Dubai Internet City, Dr. Omar Sulaiman, proudly asserts, “Yes, we do have attitude; it's this attitude that has helped us attract 800 companies, 8500 'knowledge workers,' and nearly 50 nationalities to the free zone within just two years of operation-an incredible success rate, don't you think? DIC is now the only ICT development center in the world that has all the leading global ICT (Information & Communications Technology) brands under one roof.”

So, what is this attitude that typifies the world's first and only zero-tax, free trade zone for e-commerce? Dr. Sulaiman explains, “The way we did it was simple, straightforward, and smart. We founded our vision on the psychological fact that every person, every business entity, and every corporation has wishes. We approached companies, discovered those wishes, and built on them.”

“Having said that, I must tell you that global entities do not come to us merely because we are nice people with the right attitude. They come because they find the DIC a viable proposition providing easy access to other markets out of Dubai, and the opportunity to benefit through close proximity to media companies at the Dubai Media City, and education and training companies at the Knowledge Village. It's not just a physical environment that we've aimed to create here-it's a thriving, pulsating milieu where thoughtful minds meet,” says Dr. Sulaiman.

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