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DIC reveals graduate training plans

Dubai ICT cluster currently exploring ways to help students gain valuable industry experience.

DIC reveals graduate training plans
Malek Al Malek is hopeful that DIC can help IT students gain experience.

Dubai Internet City (DIC) is examining a scheme which will place Emirati IT students with tech companies in order to give them valuable on-the-job experience before they graduate.

The proposals, scheduled to begin as early as 2010, could see local students placed with international giants such as Microsoft, Intel or Dell.

“We are working on a formal relationship with Dubai universities to make sure that UAE nationals are trained and nurtured with companies at DIC,” says Malek Al Malek, Executive Director of DIC. “We are looking at it now and we hope the scheme will start next year.

“We will be a mediator between the universities and the employers, to give Emiratis internships so they can work on projects with our companies,” adds Al Malek. “Before an IT graduate leaves university, he or she will spend a couple of months with an employer to gain valuable experience.”

Launched in 2000, DIC is the region’s largest managed information and communications technology cluster and a member of TECOM Investments, part of the Dubai Holding group.

It features a dynamic international community of ICT companies, including global ICT giants as well as a range of small and medium businesses.

The cluster comprises companies from a variety of sectors - software development, business services, web-based and e-commerce, consultancy, sales and marketing and back office.

Built as a strategic base for companies targeting emerging markets in several neighbouring regions, DIC’s catchment area extends from the Middle East to the Indian Subcontinent, and from Africa to the CIS, covering nearly three billion people with a GDP of over $10 trillion.

In 2008, 140 new companies joined the DIC cluster – a figure Al Malek says DIC should match in 2009.

The ICT cluster has been present at GITEX for the last nine years. This year, it has joined hands with companies such as Sony Ericsson and AJ Management Consultants at its pavilion located on Concourse 2, between Exhibition Hall 8 and the Sheikh Maktoum Hall.

DIC says its objective is to nurture entrepreneurship and innovation to help create a platform for sectors across the industry value chain. In the UAE alone, the value of the local ICT market is expected to reach $2.4bn by 2011, up from $1.5 billion three years ago.

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