SAP MENA and DSOA executives pose after announcing the partnership and joint project.

His Highness Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, chairman of Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority (DSOA), announced plans for Dubai Silicon Oasis (DSO) to host a ground-breaking training and development institute. Spearheaded by SAP MENA, a subsidiary of SAP AG and created to benefit the entire Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, the project will become the UAE’s first IT-specific education and development entity.

HH marked the occasion alongside Dr. Mohammed Al Zarooni, DSOA vice chairman and chief executive officer, Dr. Werner Brandt, SAP CFO and executive board member, and Sam Alkharrat, SAP MENA Managing Director, praising the institute’s potential to boost the region’s burgeoning IT sector and enhance the employment prospects of its graduates.

“The UAE’s Vision 2021 continues to serve as the fundamental framework for all Dubai-based entities,” said His Highness.”Dubai’s strategy is underpinned by technology, which is supported by innovation, research and science as key pillars for the development of a knowledge-based economy. Today, the signing of this agreement further enhances Dubai’s 2021 Vision into moving to an economy that is based on the development and creation of UAE’s local Emirati’s skills.”

Featuring cutting-edge IT infrastructure and wholly-owned by the Government of Dubai, Dubai Silicon Oasis (DSO) operates as a free zone for companies producing semiconductors, microelectronics, and other high-tech products. Easily accessible from both a MENA and global perspective, the complex spans 7.2 square kilometers of state of the art office towers, R&D and industrial zones, educational institutions, luxury apartments, villas, hotels, healthcare and a full range of lifestyle facilities.

“Since inception, DSO has attracted some of the world’s most dynamic and innovative companies. Following our recent success with Rochester Institute of Technology Dubai, we are pleased to announce yet another strategic partnership that will positively impact professionals not just in the UAE but also across the MENA region,” said Al Zarooni.”Our collaboration with a like-minded partner will definitely support our mission of further creating and developing a technology-based industry in the UAE. We are confident that working hand-in-hand with SAP to establish its training institute at DSO will ensure the effective fulfilment of their ambitious growth objectives in the MENA region.”

Plans for the training and development institute were initially discussed in March as a key part of a four-year additional investment plan by SAP to up-skill local talent and drive sustainable innovation and growth in the MENA region.

“The institute is the direct result of addressing our market, customer and ecosystem needs, and will serve as a powerful engine to yield vital jobs, knowledge, innovation and infrastructure capable of progressively shaping MENA’s business future,” said Brandt.

The training and development institute aims to certify 2,000 new consultants within the next four years, tripling the company’s existing consulting capabilities in the region, as well as accelerating and extending the localisation and Arabisation of SAP® solutions to meet fast-growing regional industry needs.

The first mover initiative is also structured to shape the region’s IT future through co-creating and innovating solutions with partners, customers and independent software vendors in fields such as mobility, HANA, cloud, urban management, smart city functionalities, and Islamic banking.

Furthermore, there will be strong links with the SAP® University Alliances program, which currently provides hands-on experience of key SAP technologies at 26 institutions across MENA — a figure set to double in the next four years — and the potential for collaborative participation in a network of global universities and research communities.

Based at DSO due to its combination of technological resource, geographic convenience and educationally conducive environment, the institute is explicitly structured to support countries across the MENA region, and there is potential to establish dedicated satellite operations in key SAP markets such as Saudi Arabia.

“This is a landmark day for SAP and further proof that we are dedicated to developing our business in the MENA region,” said Alkharrat.”By moving forward with a project of this magnitude, we are laying down a highly effective infrastructure that will not only benefit us as a company, but also our customers and the regional economy. We will co-create and co-innovate with customers and partners, and the ripple effect will be felt well beyond the boundaries of the DSO campus.”

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