Market Overview

UAE's $8 Billion Tech Industry Presents Extensive Growth Opportunities for Chinese Businesses

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Booming domestic ICT sector, favourable business setup policies to
drive fresh influx of Chinese investment to Dubai

With a thriving technology sector, deepening bilateral ties with China,
and recent announcements by the UAE Cabinet to allow 100 percent foreign
ownership in certain onshore industries, Dubai is an increasingly
attractive trade and investment destination for Chinese investors
looking for an opportunity in the city's rapidly evolving tech industry
– especially with the value of trade between UAE and China at almost
USD53.3 billion last year, according to the Ministry of Economy.

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Ammar Al Malik, Executive Director of Dubai Internet City (Photo: AETOSWire)

Ammar Al Malik, Executive Director of Dubai Internet City (Photo: AETOSWire)

Valued at nearly USD8 billion, the UAE's domestic IT market is expected
to grow at an average of 5 percent annually in the period between 2017
and 2022, reports the International Data Corporation (IDC). This, along
with a high quality of life, strong educational opportunities, career
growth prospects, and supportive business legislations are causing an
increase in student migration and tourism from Chinese nationals to
Dubai. According to the Dubai Statistic Centre, the number of Chinese
visitors rose to 573,000 in the third quarter of 2017, up 49 percent
from the same period in 2016 – highlighting a significant possibility to
connect Dubai's growing Chinese community to opportunities in the local
tech sector.

As the region's leading specialised technology and business community,
Dubai Internet City (DIC) – whose partners include leading Chinese
companies such as Huawei, UnionPay, China Telecom Middle East and
Oceanblue Cloud – is at the forefront of this development.

According to Ammar Al Malik, Executive Director of Dubai Internet City:
"China has long been one of the UAE's most important international
trading partners. As our local tech industry matures amid game-changing
reforms in our trade and investment laws, we are confident that Chinese
citizens will find a wealth of investment and employment opportunities
to explore here in Dubai."

He added: "The next few years will define Dubai's journey to becoming a
global powerhouse of innovation, supported by several government efforts
that are driving the industry to the next stage of growth – from the
roll-out of ultra-fast 5G mobile internet networks in 2019, to the
announcement of the Dubai Blockchain Strategy, which aims to move half
of all government transactions to the blockchain by 2021 – and we look
forward to leveraging these opportunities in partnership with our
Chinese counterparts."

For global ICT infrastructure and smart device manufacturing giant
Huawei, the UAE's progressive tech policies are a key enabler in its
drive to provide inclusive, intelligent solutions that create a more
connected world.

Li Xiangyu (Spacelee), Vice President, Public Affairs and
Communications, Huawei Middle East said: "At the heart of the Huawei
ethos is our dedication to innovation and knowledge sharing, and we
could not have asked for a better environment than the Emirates to
fulfill these ideals. The UAE government, as well as our local partners
and customers, have demonstrated that they share our relentless drive
for innovation and exploration, and thanks to them we are making huge
strides in our vision to bring digital to every person, home and
organization for a fully connected, intelligent world. We are committed
to assisting the UAE's leadership in achieving the ambitious targets
outlined in UAE Vision 2021 by bringing the world's most cutting-edge
technology to the country and continuing to invest in unearthing and
developing local ICT talents, and we look forward to our continued
collaboration for many years to come."

According to Hang Wang, General Manager of UnionPay International Middle
East, a global business focussed on bank cards services: "China has been
the largest trading partner of the UAE for three consecutive years. The
economic and trade exchanges between China and UAE continues to grow,
generating greater demands for cross-border payment. This has brought
more opportunities for UnionPay in the UAE. UnionPay International will
continue to strengthen collaboration with the major institutions in UAE,
promoting the large-scale issuance of UnionPay cards in the UAE based on
UnionPay's extensive acceptance in the market, while also actively
rolling out UnionPay innovative products and services including UnionPay
mobile QuickPass and QR code payment, to build a safe and convenient
payment bridge between China and UAE."

Alexann Zhang, Founder and CEO of Oceanblue Cloud, a leading SD- WAN
provider, believes Dubai is the destination of choice for international
businesses looking to establish their regional head offices to expand
their operations in the Middle East and North Africa region – a
sentiment that is shared by Mr. Liu ChangHai, Managing Director of China
Telecom (Africa and Middle East) Limited, who says their offices in
Dubai Internet City have become "a major hub" for business development
with partners and customers in the Middle East region since they first
established the company in 2008.

Dubai's comprehensive business infrastructure, coupled with the
announcement of 100 percent foreign ownership laws, is expected to
create significant growth opportunities for private firms as the UAE
leverages its diversification efforts to focus on the development of
non-oil sectors. Businesses can expect to find increased foreign
investment within the country's evolving tech industry, especially since
the recent launch of the China New Era Technology Fund – a USD15 billion
fund aiming to invest or acquire firms across China and around the world
– which would garner interest among businesses and in turn, influence
sizeable investments in local projects.

*Source: AETOSWire

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