Dubai told to mind the gap

If Dubai wants to achieve its vision of becoming an e-society it will need to prevent the creation of a gap between its people workers and its computer workers, a leading London academic warned this week.

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By  Andrew Picken Published  April 10, 2003

If Dubai wants to achieve its vision of becoming an e-society it will need to prevent the creation of a gap between its people workers and its computer workers, a leading London academic warned this week.

At a workshop organised by the British Council Dubai, in collaboration with Dubai’s Knowledge Village and the University of London, Dr Don Peterson (MA, PhD, MSc) of the University of London, spoke to local policy makers about the problems facing a society as it transitions to an e-enabled one.

“The realisation of the e-society will require people who can approach socio-technical problems in a socio-technical way – people who are trained both in social science and computer science, so as to avoid the creation of a gap between ‘people people' and ‘computer people',” he said.

If handled correctly there is clear benefit in such a social-technical approach, Dr Peterson said. For instance, in tourism there are possibilities in using digital technologies to support and attract tourists, before during and after a visit.

April is being celebrated as ‘knowledge month' to mark the creation of Knowledge Village, a new addition to the Technology, Electronic Commerce and Media Free Zone. The one million square feet complex is adjacent to the Internet and Media villages and will house high-tech e-education, e-training and e-learning organisations in Dubai.

Around 40 companies have already registered with the Knowledge Village so far and will move in gradually over the next few months, with the official opening scheduled for September.

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