Dubai consolidates its status as preferred hub for global high-tech firms

The Emirate's rapidly evolving tech ecosystem has helped it swiftly mature into a centre for new-age enterprises

By Wam

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Published: Fri 27 May 2022, 7:20 AM

More than 20 years since its establishment in 2000, Dubai Internet City (DIC) continues to be among the world’s preferred hubs for new economy companies, with several high-growth, high value-added, technology-enabled global firms recently choosing DIC to establish their regional operations.

The latest to join the ever-growing ranks of new economy companies making DIC their home is the American content delivery network and DDoS mitigation company Cloudflare. Earlier this week, Cloudflare announced Dubai as its first office in the Middle East to support its growing EMEA operations, offering a base for the growing Cloudflare team in the Middle East and Turkey.

Cloudflare’s Dubai-based team will help the company grow brand awareness, acquire and support customers, and recruit new talent. Dubai’s rapidly evolving tech ecosystem has helped it swiftly mature into a significant hub for new-age enterprises, including established multinationals, unicorns, and startups.

As the region’s leading tech hub, Ammar Al Malik, Managing Director of DIC, welcomed Cloudflare into DIC’s growing community, and said that he remains committed to offering Cloudflare the same enabling platform.


“Several sectors have undergone rapid digital transformations and have witnessed increased cloud adoption. This makes a secure and reliable digital infrastructure necessary, given the potential opportunities. Cybersecurity is critical for the tech sector, with the global cybersecurity market set to reach a value of $317 billion by 2027, according to Mordor Intelligence,” added Al Malik.

He also noted that DIC’s inclusive business environment, led by international players that have established their headquarters in the City, has helped make it a hub for IT companies and tech-savvy talent over the last 20 years.

Cloudflare has data centres in 270 cities across 100 countries worldwide, including 27 data centres in the Middle East and Turkey region. The company has doubled its EMEA team to about 700 employees over the last two years. For the Middle East and Turkey region, Cloudflare will prioritise launching new data centres, increasing market share by building partnerships, and expanding its customer base and the local team to cope with the business growth to serve its customers better.

Earlier this month, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, directed the formation of a higher committee to prepare the Dubai Metaverse Strategy to contribute to enhancing Dubai’s position as a global hub for the technology.

The higher committee, chaired by Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council, will supervise technological developments in the emirate and oversee developments in the digital economy. It will enhance Dubai’s status as the best city in the virtual space thanks to innovative services and its advanced regulatory and legislative framework. The emirate approved a new Virtual Asset Regulation Law in March to ensure investor protection and transparency.

Last year, Dubai issued over 72,000 new business licences, a growth of 69 per cent compared to 2020, reaffirming Dubai’s position as a global business and investment hub and reinforcing its status as a successful model for the recovery of the business sector.

In 2021, Dubai led the world in attracting foreign direct investment (FDI) with a record number of 418 greenfield FDI projects. The feat underscores the power of the emirate’s stable, sustainable economic environment and a vibrant business ecosystem for companies and entrepreneurs to launch new ventures, tap new opportunities and expand their business both in the country and beyond its borders. In addition, the city has 25 free zones that offer an enabling ecosystem for foreign and local entrepreneurs.

Also last year, despite the uncertainties of the global pandemic, Dubai International (DXB) emerged as the world’s busiest airport by international passengers for the eighth consecutive year. DXB is connected to more than 200 destinations across almost 100 countries through 84 international carriers. Dubai’s Emirates airline connects the city to 138 global destinations, while FlyDubai serves over 120 cities.

Dubai’s ongoing investments in technological advancements and infrastructure will help DIC maintain its status as the world’s preferred hub for global technology firms.

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