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IT resellers set to unite

Association to promote Dubai traders

Members of Dubai's computer reseller community are poised to meet with local authorities in the coming months as the day when Khalid Bin Al Waleed Road has its own dedicated IT association draws ever closer. At least 200 technology resellers are understood to have pledged their allegiance to the inaugural Dubai Computer Traders Association (DCTG), which will serve as a body to unite members and promote the interests of resellers operating in Computer Street.

Although the formation of a trade body to represent resellers on Khalid Bin Al Waleed Road - a regional hub for the sale and re-export of IT kit - has been mooted for some time, Channel Middle East understands that there have been a number of key developments. The DCTG's bylaws have been approved and it is now waiting authorisation from the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry. "So far the group is [legally] inactive, but we are negotiating to make it a legal body," confirmed Talal Ahmed Al Zaabi, boss of Grandsys and temporary chairman of the DCTG.

He is working alongside an 18-strong management committee, including Shailendra Rughwani - current president of the DCTG and boss of Expert Computers. "We have already met with the Chamber of Commerce and finished the constitution," continued Al Zaabi. "They are welcoming us and supporting us, but they have some extra requirements which we are working on."

Those requirements are understood to include the provision of data, such as details about the export market and Dubai IT sector.

A source close to the group said the DCTG could be functioning as an official entity within the next six weeks, although Al Zaabi insists it is more likely to be the second half of 2007.

In addition to protecting members, the DCTG will act as a forum for resellers to share their concerns. It will also seek to build stronger links with vendors and address issues such as credit and pricing.

"We need the Dubai market to be a healthy market and without a group linking all these shops together that won't be the case," said Al Zaabi.

One reseller who has signed up to the DCTG believes its official formation will represent an important milestone for Dubai resellers. "I think that the idea counts and it gives a sign of maturity and a certain limit of protection to the market. Over time it will evolve into something bigger and better," he said.