Tech companies look to UAE universities for talent

Rohma Sadaqat /Dubai Filed on October 28, 2020

Several international technology giants are partnering with educational institutes across the UAE to train the next generation of digital natives

As the war for talent continues to heat up, and organisations across the UAE get more competitive in scooping up graduates with valuable skill sets, international tech companies have set their sights on forming long-term partnerships with universities across the UAE that will help them train the next generation of digital natives.

Several companies such as Microsoft, Oracle, SAP, and Huawei have identified a gap in the technology skills of recent graduates that are entering the workforce, and have curated special targeted programmes that will significantly reduce this gap.

Most recently, The Higher Colleges of Technology (HCT) announced a partnership with Oracle for an initiative to educate and train students in the field of Arti?cial Intelligence (AI). Through this agreement, Oracle will become a Technology Partner for the AI Skills Academy and impart training to government sector employees in innovation technologies, as well as facilitate boot camps for 1,000 HCT students during the term of the agreement. The partnership is also aimed at advancing the UAE's digital transformation strategies and creating innovative work environments that are in line with the UAE Artificial Intelligence strategy and the UAE Centennial 2071.

As part of the agreement, students will also receive training on key solutions and technologies such as Blockchain and the Internet of Things (IoT), in line with the HCT endeavours to empower technical leaders and graduating companies.

"The digital economy is here and it is imperative to start training our next-gen workforce in latest cloud technologies for them to succeed in a hyper-connected environment," said Abdul Rahman Al Thehaiban, SVP of Technology at Oracle. "We are committed to supporting the UAE Government achieve its strategic socio-economic vision with latest cloud led digital technologies. Oracle has already trained 500 Emirati students across HCT campuses and with this initiative, we are now extending our learning program to the UAE Government employees for supporting the country's e-governance vision."

Huawei, a leading global provider of information and communications technology (ICT) infrastructure and smart devices, was also recently selected as a strategic ICT technology partner and cloud solution provider by Ankabut, the UAE's Advanced National Research and Education Network (NREN) offering academic institutions connectivity to other education networks around the world, to deliver cloud-based services in support of the UAE's educational institutions. Both parties have been working side-by-side as partners since April 2020.

By partnering with Huawei, Ankabut is continuously able to offer cloud services in support of the UAE's universities and schools, addressing the need to develop new clouds for educational institutions in the country.

"This project represents one of the largest investments made in the UAE's education sector in 2019, and will strengthen the UAE's position as a regional leader in educational services," said Fahem Al Nuaimi, CEO of Ankabut. "Huawei's technology enables us to offer cloud services to our partner institutions throughout the UAE, which makes the academic process more efficient, reduce expenses, and boost collaborative work, which benefits education and research facilities alike."

Huawei has also partnered with Ajman University (AU) to deliver training and certification programs to the university's students via the Huawei Authorized Information and Network Academy program (HAINA). The step aims at further building the ICT capacity and expertise in Ajman, and the UAE as a whole, by upskilling local talent. The promising partnership follows a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed by Ajman University and Huawei UAE, where both parties agreed to work together collaboratively to provide the students with the required ICT skills through the HAINA initiative that will enable them to become the future ICT leaders in their country.

Ajman University will provide classroom and other teaching facilities to accommodate Huawei ICT equipment for the programme, and will also embed the HAINA certification courses in its curriculum, and liaise with the local networking industry to deliver the training programs across a wider outreach of population in the ICT industry across the UAE. Additionally, Huawei will provide Huawei Certification Academy Instructor (HCAI) training for the university's professional instructors for each course direction. Ajman University and Huawei will work cooperatively to monitor the HAINA program and offer suggestions for continuous improvement. They will also continue to explore other opportunities for alliances between the two organizations in order to address the ICT skills requirements within UAE and further have positive impact in shaping the future of the its leaders.

SAP has also announced several collaborations with local universities as part of its 'Dual Study Program', which enables students to combine theoretical studies with the opportunity to obtain a SAP certificate. SAP's Dual Study Program: HANA Application Track is run in collaboration between SAP and the American University of Sharjah (AUS) and provides students with the opportunity to take major-specific SAP trainings and certification during their academic years by establishing an extracurricular collaboration. Students graduate from the program as SAP Associate Consultants, which gives them a competitive edge in pursuing various career paths among SAP's globally positioned customers and partners.


Rohma Sadaqat

I am a reporter and sub-editor on the Business desk at Khaleej Times. I mainly cover and write articles on the UAE's retail, hospitality, travel, and tourism sectors.Originally from Lahore, I have been living in the UAE for more than 20 years. I graduated with a BA in Mass Communication, with a concentration in Journalism, and a double minor in History and International Studies from the American University of Sharjah.If you see me out and about on assignment in Dubai, feel free to stop me, say hello, and we can chat about the latest kitten videos on YouTube.

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