Dubai tech free zones see 15% growth in tenants
Dubai Internet City and Dubai Outsource Zone attracted 160 new tenants during 2012
Dubai Internet City and Dubai Outsource Zone, two IT-focused free zones in the Gulf emirate, saw 15% growth in tenants between them during 2012.
According to a statement, 160 new businesses signed up for offices at the two clusters across sectors including Internet, multimedia software, telecommunications and IT services. Both are administered by TECOM, which oversees all of Dubai's free zone areas.
Companies including General Electric, Google, Mastercard, EMC and Qualcomm all significantly increased their presence across either Dubai Internet City or Dubai Outsource Zone during the year, the statement said.
"2012 was a particularly strong year for our cluster. Not only did we welcome some of the industry's biggest players such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Interglobe, we also saw the expansion of existing partners," said Malek Al Malek, managing director of both free zones.
Malek said that during 2012 the clusters had increasingly focused on attracting small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). This strategy has included the founding of the in5 innovation hub, a technology incubator and fund that aims to foster entrepreneurship in the region.
"The support and nurturing of SMEs and entrepreneurs has also been a key area of focus for us in 2012 and will continue to be in 2013," Malek added. "We are extremely optimistic about the ongoing growth of the SME sector in the region."
A recent report by global technology consultancy Gartner found that IT spending in the Middle East is expected to grow by 5.5% year on year to $192bn in 2013.