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DOZ lays out formula for expansion

Dubai Outsource Zone sees 23% growth in 2009, targets 150 companies by end of next year

Al Naqi says DOZ continues to grow.
Al Naqi says DOZ continues to grow.

They say that out of every crisis comes opportunity, and Dubai Outsource Zone (DOZ) has taken advantage of the recent economic uncertainty to record a 23% rise in clients so far in 2009.

The first free zone in the world dedicated to the outsourcing industry, DOZ is already running at 100% occupancy, but hopes to add another 40 firms before the end of next year - bringing the total number of companies to 150.

"The crisis has bought a lot of benefit for us as previously companies were growing and outsourcing was not the main focus," says Executive Director Ismail Al Naqi. "Now the focus is cost-cutting and outsourcing is one of the solutions. We have seen very positive growth in 2009, and we have grown by 23% despite the slowdown in the market," he continues. "We are targeting growth of 30% in 2010; we will be at nearly 150 companies before the end of next year," he adds.

DOZ is a member of TECOM Investments, a subsidiary of Dubai Holding, and already hosts more than 100 companies with more than 7,000 employees. Launched five years ago, it offers a base for both captive and third-party outsourcing operations to provide mid and high-end services in sectors such as finance, accounting, IT, payroll processing, R&D and engineering.

The zone's package of telecom services includes high-bandwidth connectivity, IP telephony, automatic call distribution (ACD), interactive voice response (IVR) and predictive dialing systems, and satellite communication services as well as technical and infrastructure support.

Al Naqi does concede, however, that the emirate suffers by comparison to the cost savings available in India. For that reason, DOZ will concentrate on attracting local firms as opposed to international clients.

"During our first two years our focus was mainly on Europe and the US, but then companies realized that if they were to come to this part of the world they would have to bring a large number of employees," he explains. "That's not as cost-effective as it should be as Dubai, whether you like it or not, is always going to be compared with India."