DUBAI — As part of the company’s strategic investment plan for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), SAP today announced it will open a training and development institute at the Dubai Silicon Oasis (DSO) to up-skill local talent and drive sustainable innovation and growth in the region.
The institute aims to certify 2,000 new consultants in the market within the next four years, tripling SAP’s existing consulting capabilities in the region.
The project is the United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) first IT-specific training and development entity. It was announced today at a ceremony in Dubai attended by His Highness Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, chairman of Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority (DSOA); Dr. Mohammed Al Zarooni, DSOA vice chairman and chief executive officer; Dr. Werner Brandt, chief financial officer and SAP Executive Board member; and Sam Alkharrat, managing director of SAP MENA.
“The UAE’s Vision 2021 continues to serve as the fundamental framework for all Dubai-based entities,” said His Highness Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum. “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 of moving to an economy that is based on the development and creation of the UAE’s local Emiratis’ skills.”
Featuring cutting-edge IT infrastructure and wholly owned by the government of Dubai, the DSO is easily accessible globally and throughout MENA. The complex lies just 15 minutes from the Dubai International Airport, spans 7.2 square kilometers and includes state-of-the-art office towers, research and development and industrial zones, educational institutions, luxury apartments, villas and hotels, healthcare offices and a full range of lifestyle facilities.
Plans for the training and development institute were initially discussed in March 2012 as part of a four-year additional investment plan to drive growth in the region. SAP expects the institute to provide skilled talent that will help the company accelerate and extend the localization of its solutions to meet fast-growing regional needs. Furthermore, there will be strong links with the SAP University Alliances program, which currently provides hands-on experience with key SAP technologies at 27 institutions across MENA – a figure set to double in the next four years. The SAP University Alliances program also allows students to collaborate throughout a network of global universities and research communities.
“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.
SAP chose the DSO location for its combination of technological resources, geographic convenience and educationally conducive environment, making it the perfect setting to also support co-innovation with partners, customers and independent software vendors in areas such as mobile, the SAP HANA platform, cloud, urban management, smart city functionalities and Islamic banking. The institute is also explicitly structured to support countries across the MENA region, with the potential to establish dedicated satellite operations in key SAP markets such as Saudi Arabia.