His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority (DSOA), the regulatory body for Dubai Silicon Oasis (DSO), today announced that DSOA achieved remarkable results in 2020 with a total revenue of AED544.7 million, marking a surge of 2.7 percent from 2019.
His Highness stressed that including the integrated free zone technology park as one of the five urban centers – a science and technology and knowledge hub that drives innovation, digital economy development and talent generation – as part of the larger Dubai 2040 Urban Master Plan, is testament to its global status as a proof of concept for smart industries of the future.
He noted that this announcement is testament to DSOA’s efforts to adopt cutting-edge technology in new sectors, in line with the government's directives to support the knowledge-based economy and benefit from the latest applications of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
His Highness highlighted that DSO attracted 1,731 new companies in 2020, raising the total number of companies registered at the free zone technology park by 2020-end to 4,936, registering a 54 percent increase from 2019.
His Highness Sheikh Ahmed indicated that these results reflect the growth achieved by DSOA in various sectors, most significantly in terms of technology. His Highness noted that the initiatives and policies implemented in the UAE under the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, paves the way for the world’s quickest recovery journey from COVID-19 and achieving the development of a sustainable future in Dubai.
His Highness emphasized that in a bid to enhance Dubai's position as a leading destination that attracts foreign direct investments, DSO keeps pace with innovation and supports entrepreneurship through qualitative initiatives. He noted that such achievements reinforce the confidence of regional and global companies in Dubai’s position as a leading hub for investment in technology, research and development, and Fourth Industrial Revolution solutions.
Innovation and Knowledge
For his part, Dr Mohammed Al Zarooni, Vice Chairman and CEO of DSOA, highlighted the crucial role that DSOA will be playing, as an incubator for innovation and knowledge, in line with Dubai’s journey to become the world’s smartest and happiest city to live in, and a major player in attracting foreign investments. He noted that the value of major projects completed in DSO in 2020 reached AED4 billion.
Al Zarooni indicated that Dubai Silicon Oasis contributes to the economic development of Dubai, through the distinguished services and investment environment it provides for new companies. He also praised DSOA’s efforts in attracting new talent and providing entrepreneurs with all the facilities needed to launch and grow their projects.
He noted that the new developments in Dubai Silicon Oasis, whether in education of advanced technology or in smart healthcare services, contribute to knowledge-exchange and empower innovation through encouraging research and development.
Dubai Digital Park Attracts Multinational Companies
DSOA inaugurated its AED1.5-billion Dubai Digital Park (DDP) project, spanning an area of 150,000 square meters. Since its inauguration, several multinational companies have chosen DDP as their preferred destination to house their headquarters base their operations. This led DDP to reach 80 percent occupancy rates for its office spaces and boutique buildings.
The smart solution-enabled community comprises 47,000 square meters of office space, 17,000 square meters of retail units, 235 smart residential apartments and more than 5,000 square meters of ready-made and plug and play offices. Its host of value-added contemporary lifestyle facilities includes a 112-key Radisson RED hotel and 59 fully furnished apartments. DDP also includes a convention center that can host up to 500 persons, restaurants, cafés, fitness centers, running tracks and cycling trails, a shopping center and an underground parking garage that can accommodate more than 2,000 cars.
DDP provides 60 smart city services, offered through a unified and secure platform that effectively integrates the operational requirements of enterprises with the needs of employees, residents, and visitors. The smart services, at an investment of AED100 million, aim to promote smart city initiatives that are aligned with the vision of making Dubai the smartest and happiest city in the world.
900 Startups at DSO
In a bid to promote and attract technology-focused startups, entrepreneurs, and innovators, the Dubai Technology Entrepreneur Campus (Dtec) is committed to providing advanced facilities to startups and entrepreneurs that are engaged in developing innovative solutions for smart cities, such as overcoming congestion, and ensuring effective waste management and energy efficiency. Dtec, DSOA’s wholly owned technology coworking space and the largest of its kindly in the MENA region, is currently home to more than 900 startups from 72 countries – registering a surge of 7 percent over 2019, with many companies working on blockchain and AI technologies.
Expanding Spaces Available to Entrepreneurs
On the economic front, Dtec attracted approximately 1,500 startups, created more than 3,500 jobs, and supported the inflow of close to AED500 million into the UAE economy since its inception. The hub expanded its premises by more than 60,000 square feet to provide additional space for around 800 startups in the next three years, bringing up its total area to more than 108,000 square feet.
Fakeeh University Hospital
Fakeeh University Hospital at Dubai Silicon Oasis, the first-of-its-kind smart university hospital in the UAE, was inaugurated last year. The AED1.5-billion smart hospital spans one million square feet, combining integrated AI-robotic systems and medical competencies to take the sector to new heights.
The hospital partnered with global technology companies including Siemens, Philips, and Cisco to develop innovative systems whose proof of concepts and applications in the healthcare field will further cement its position as the first truly smart hospital of the future in Dubai.
The 350-bed smart facility provides primary, secondary, and tertiary care through leading medical practitioners across 55 specialties. Equipped with cutting-edge technology, its systems are set up to treat an estimated 700,000 patients a year, serving communities in the UAE and the wider region.
Advanced Technology Education
In the academic field, construction work on phase one of the AED500-million Rochester Institute of Technology – Dubai (RIT Dubai) at DSO has been completed. Phase one of the project spans 30,000 square meters, including academic classrooms and advanced laboratories, at an estimated cost of AED200 million. Meanwhile, phase two is slated for handover in 2023 at a projected cost of AED300 million, adding 116,000 square meters to the campus. With the capacity to accommodate 4,000 students, the new campus will comply with the latest sustainability, smart city, and connectivity standards.
The university offers undergraduate degrees in mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, microelectronics engineering, computing security, computing and information technology, international business, marketing, finance, and industrial engineering. It also offers post graduate degrees in electrical engineering, service leadership and innovation, mechanical engineering, engineering management, city science, data analytics, future foresight and planning, and computing security.
Additional Education Options
Vernus International School (VIS), managed by Edu Hub, is the first American primary school to open its premises in Dubai Silicon Oasis, spanning an area of 65,000 square feet, with a total investment of AED50 million. In its first phase, the primary school can accommodate up to 600 students, bringing the total number of educational seats available in DSO to 7,100 – a nine percent increase from the 6,500 seats available in 2019. Phase two of VIS will include secondary classes, and phase three will be VIS Academy.
Construction of Silicon Central at Dubai Silicon Oasis has reached 90 percent. The new 2.3 million square feet shopping mall, taking shape on a landbank of one million square feet, is being developed by the LuLu Group International (LuLu Group).
Counting more than 300 international and local branded stores and 12 anchor stores, the new shopping mall will also house a Hypermarket and Department Store on two levels. Other key attractions include the biggest Family Entertainment Center spread across 70,000 square feet, as well as more than 50 F&B outlets and diverse entertainment and leisure offerings.
DSOA also signed a memorandum of understanding with the Canadian Society for Entrepreneurship and Innovation (CSEI). The partnership focuses on providing startups and SMEs from the UAE and Canada with the opportunity to expand their businesses internationally.
The MoU aims to support graduates of the Entrepreneurship Leadership Program (ELP) by Ignite Innovation Hub in setting up businesses in the UAE within Dtec.
Construction on the new regional headquarters of Jaguar Land Rover Limited Middle East and North Africa (JLR), the regional branch of Jaguar Land Rover Limited, at the hi-tech park was completed last year.
Comprising a training academy, an engineering testing centre and a customer relations centre, the new premises span a total area of 14,000 square meters. The regional headquarters features innovative technologies that equip engineers, as well as technical and administrative staff across JLR’s regional network.
In line with its commitment to support the innovation of sustainable transport solutions for future smart cities, Dubai Silicon Oasis was home to the Road and Transport Authority in Dubai’s test-run of the dynamic wireless charging of electric vehicles and buses in motion using the Shaped Magnetic Field In Resonance (SMFIR) technology.
A Preferred Destination to Live and Work
The number of residents and employees across DSO increased by 17 percent, bringing the total population to 90,000 compared to 2019. This rise is a direct result of DSOA’s integrated strategic plan, which is based on four pillars: smart city, advanced technology hub, happiest people, and desired society. Through this strategy that is aligned with the UAE Vision 2021, Dubai Plan 2021, and Dubai 2040 Urban Master Plan, DSOA has succeeded in realizing its goal of shaping an integrated technology city that provides all the necessary elements for living and working in a smart environment.