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Cisco opens innovation centre in Dubai

Cisco CEO visits Dubai to open Innovation and Experience Centre

Cisco opens innovation centre in Dubai
HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority and Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins, open the Innovation & Experience Centre.

Cisco has opened an Innovation & Experience Centre (IXC) in Dubai, as part of a visit by CEO Chuck Robbins to the GCC.

The IXC, which is located at Cisco's Middle East HQ in Dubai Knowledge Village, is intended to provide a showcase for Cisco solutions, and to provide a focus for local partner ecosystems and startups to build on Cisco technology.

The $10m centre was inaugurated by HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, together with Chuck Robbins. Robbins had earlier delivered a keynote address to senior UAE government officials.

The facility, which is intended to serve the wider region, will initially cater to customers and partners, but Cisco plans to make it into a centre for startups and entrepreneurs within the next twelve to eighteen months.

Speaking to media at the launch, Robbins said: "In this region of the world, we see the opportunity to drive greater innovation than we see in many other part of the world. The commitment by the leadership here, the focus on delivering digital citizen services, the concept of consolidating those services and trying to deliver a greater experience for the citizen is happening at a level that we don't see anywhere else in the world.

"We opened the innovation centre here today, it really is a unique opportunity where we have a country and a region that believes that technology has to fundamentally be a part of everything that they do in the future. Every industry, everything is being transformed by technology. This innovation centre not only shows what is possible, but also creates an environment where an ecosystem of partners can come in, and build applications and build new technology on top of this platform."

The centre is the eleventh such facility for Cisco worldwide, and will also support Cisco's Country Digital Acceleration (CDA) program for the UAE, one of sixteen CDA's worldwide which aim to support national digitisation agendas.

Robbins said that the IXC is not just a CSR project, and he was confident that it will support Cisco's own business.

"These centres, as well as the CDA initiatives, are part of creating a broader ecosystem, part of us, really driving a deep commitment in a given country; as a participant in a country we believe that we have a responsibility to also help," he said. "The CDA initiative is investment to help the country achieve its objectives, we go into it with the premise that if we do that we tend to see better performance in our business in a given country."

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