Dubai Internet City (DIC), one of the largest managed ICT clusters in the world and a member of TECOM Investments, today announced 112 new companies have chosen to locate their operations at the cluster during 2007, which translates to 33 per cent growth over 2006.

The new entrants include global companies such as British Telecom, Qualcomm, Google, Layton International, Telecom New Zealand, Dimension Data, Logo Business Solutions and VeriSign, top-tier names in the ICT sector.

Malek Al Malek, Director of Partner Relations at DIC, said: 'Since inception, Dubai Internet City has played a critical role in actively developing the regional ICT industry. Through our initiatives, we have successfully taken a lead in bringing knowledge and expertise to the region in collaboration with our business partners. The direction that Dubai Internet City moves reflects the rate that our business partners are also growing in the region. Together we have put DIC in the forefront of this region's ICT industry maintaining consistent growth while enriching the business community with international companies.'

Several reasons have fuelled the region's ICT sector's growth in the last year including increased government spending on IT, a highly advanced infrastructure, availability of qualified cadres and the UAE's political stability and security - a key factor for attracting foreign direct investments and international companies.

Many of the existing companies in the ICT cluster have doubled or expanded their premises, resulting in 84 per cent growth rate for rented area in 2007 against 2006. Dubai Internet City has facilitated the set up of over 1000 IT companies in the free zone offering a plethora of business benefits for its business partners including a platform for networking, partnerships and business developments.

Riding the crest of success, Dubai Internet City's parent company TECOM Investments developed the SmartCity concept to take the successful model beyond Dubai's borders in partnership with Sama Dubai, a Dubai Holding international property development entity.

The alliance has resulted in the establishment of self-sustained townships in two crucial locations - SmartCity Malta, Europe and SmartCity Kochi in the southern Indian state of Kerala - with more in the pipeline. Research and statistics from specialized companies in the UAE and MENA region indicate that the size of the ICT sector in the UAE during 2007 surpassed US$2.85 billion with an accumulated annual growth rate of more than 20%.

According to research conducted by IDC and Gartner BMI, the accumulated annual growth rate will maintain double digit momentum until 2011 when the size of the ICT market in the UAE will reach $4.1bn. Hosting most of the Fortune 500 companies as well as more than 1,000 specialised industry leaders from diverse segments of the information and communication technology sectors, Dubai Internet City has emerged as a global ICT hub, while catering to the region's increasing focus on knowledge-economy. Currently DIC is home to around 14,000 professionals, working in different ICT sectors.

The way for implementation of the Smart City project in Kerala’s port city of Cochin has been cleared with the federal government granting special economic zone status (SEZ) to the mega IT facility.

The board of approvals (BoA) for the SEZs, which met in New Delhi yesterday, has granted the SEZ status to 136 out of 246 acres of land acquired for the project, said State IT secretary Ajay Kumar. The remaining area was not considered along with 136 acres as it is separated by a river.

The BoA has sought a separate application for SEZ status for 100 acres of land acquired from the Kerala Stat Electricity Board. Ajay Kumar said the application would be submitted before the next meeting of the board next month.

The last BoA meeting deferred a decision on the SEZ status following a complaint filed by one Kuruvilla, alleging that the land for the project was acquired without ensuring proper rehabilitation of the displaced. The board rejected the complaint after considering the explanation furnished by the state government.

The project promoted by the Dubai-based TECOM in joint partnership with the Kerala government, envisages creating 8.8 million sq ft of built-up space and supporting infrastructure for IT and IT-enabled service companies.

The SEZ status brings a slew of benefits to the developers. They include 10-year tax holiday, Exemption from duties on all imports for project development, 10 per cent FDI for all manufacturing activities, speedy approvals, clearances and customs procedures and dispute resolution etc.

There will be no foreign ownership restrictions in developing zone infrastructure and no restrictions on repatriation. The developers also get freedom to develop township with residential areas, markets, play grounds, clubs and recreation centers without any restrictions on foreign ownership.

Smart City project director Baju George told reporters at New Delhi after the BoA meeting that the master plan for the project would be submitted next month. “We are hopeful that we would be able to begin the work on the infrastructure project by September”, he added.

The Smartcity has already shortllisted four national and international companies for preparing a detailed master plan. The foundation stone for the project was laid by Chief Minister V S Achuthanandan last November.

The project modelled on Dubai Internet City, Dubai Media City and Dubai Knowledge Village has an employment generation potential of over 90,000 jobs over 10 years.


Smartcity Kochi masterplan - Four companies shortlisted

Dubai-based Smartcity has shortlisted four national and international Companies for preparing a detailed master plan for the Rs 2,000-crore IT infrastructure project in Kochi.

The Companies have been asked to submit their proposals, SmartCity Executive Director Fareed Abdulrahman said in a statement in Kochi.

The foundation stone for the project, a joint venture between Kerala government and Dubai Smartcity, was laid by Chief Minister V S Achuthanandan last November.

The project promises to offer business support services, residential hospitality, retail and recreational facilities.


USD 750 Million Kochi Metro rail project to start next month

Civil work on Rs 3,048-crore Kochi Metro Rail is slated to get cracking next month(April 2008). The Elevated Light Rail Kochi Metro PPP would be ready for public use in three years, according to M Vijayakumar, Kerala minister in charge of rail transport.

“Only about 26 hectares of land (as the rail in elevated) will be required. Of this 16 acres is of private ownership. Within a year, the necessary land acquisition can be completed,” Vijayakumar told the Assembly in reply to a question.

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Job Opportunity for 3000 - Tejomaya at infopark kochi is ready

Tejomaya is situated near Smart City Kochi

Inauguration: 15th March 2000 by Kerala CM V.S. Achutanandhan

Experience the beauty of bountiful nature within L&T Tech Park. As the name TEJOMAYA suggest, the building is resplendent with the effulgent energy pervading all over. Green-Tech in character, they are replete with energy efficient systems and state-of-the-art Technology: -

  • Built over an area of 4 Acres of land within the Infopark Campus.
  • Total built-up area of 4.00 Lakh Sq.ft.
  • Centrally Air-conditioned Space.
  • Highly reliable power system.
  • Building management system for optimisation of energy consumption.
  • Assured water supply & sewage treatment plant of 300m3 capacity.
  • DG Power Back up.
  • Fully equipped with the most modern infrastructure facilities.
  • Data-Voice Connectivity through multiple service providers.
  • Granite Flooring & Cladding in the entrance & lift lobbies.
  • Vitrified tile flooring in the atrium, service corridor, and toilets.

Kerala's FDI flows slip

Despite notching Dubai Tecom's $330-million Smartcity deal in Kochi and a high investor confidence in Assocham's recent survey, Kerala's FDI inflow has slipped a tad. FDI inflow in the last fiscal is lower by 0.26%, says Economic Review-2007 released by State Planning Board.

Tourism has been a reliable cash cow for the state, according to the new indications. Revenue growth through tourism is up by 17.9% in 2007-2008. Foreign tourist arrivals are growing by 19.3% per year.

In exports, the state had mixed fortunes. While export of tea, coffee and coir looked up, spices and cashew export suffered.

More state PSUs are on the turnaround track. Those in the black have ploughed back Rs 92.05 crore profit to state government in the last fiscal. Mining licenses have fetched Rs 26 crore to the state.


The SmartCity