Russian Tech Companies Expand into Middle East Through Dubai Internet City

Over the past few years, Dubai Internet City (DIC), the Middle East’s leading technology business community, has witnessed increasing participation from Russian tech companies, professionals and startups in its vibrant community. The visit of Russia’s President Vladimir Putin to the UAE represents bilateral development between the two countries and demonstrates UAE’s efforts to further strengthen the strategic partnership with Russia and enhance their cooperation in vital sectors including ICT.

Ammar Al Malik, Managing Director of DIC and Dubai Outsource City (DOC).

In July this year, the world’s first Russian Centre for Digital Innovation and ICT was launched in DIC in collaboration with the Russian Export Centre (REC), to serve as a springboard for Russian tech businesses looking to establish a presence in the region. Since it was established, companies in the Centre have planned, initiated and implemented several stakeholder partnerships locally in the UAE and across the wider region with companies of all sizes, including large multinationals and smaller start-ups.

Furthermore, DIC is also home to diverse Russian tech firms – including Kaspersky, NCC Group among others innovating across a broad range of industry verticals, from cybersecurity, and cloud computing to augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), artificial intelligence (AI) and software development.

Ammar Al Malik, Managing Director of DIC and Dubai Outsource City (DOC), said: “Bilateral relations between the UAE and Russia continue to grow ever stronger. Russia’s IT market records US$22.6 billion, whereas IT spending in the UAE was estimated to be worth US$7.7 billion last year. Considering the scale and growth of our respective tech industries, we are confident in the ability of this sector to contribute significantly to bilateral trade in the coming years.

In our role as business enablers, our support for Russian tech firms stems from our keenness to provide a world-class environment for these innovators and professionals in our region and the world and promote their growth from the UAE to the wider region by building opportunities and networks between tech companies of all sizes.”

Muhammad Shiha, CEO of Russian Centre of Digital Innovation & ICT, said: “Since our launch in DIC three months ago, Russian firms that are part of our Innovation centre were able to partner with large companies and startups and have discovered and pursued multiple business opportunities domestically and in the wider GCC and MENA regions, which have helped them build and scale their operations. We’re pleased to be located in the region’s hub for technology and innovation, and look forward to further strengthening our partnership with DIC, encouraging and promoting the interests of Russian tech innovators, and driving the growth of both tech industries through meaningful collaborations.”

By 2025, Russia is expected to grow its internet base to 124 million active users, out of a total population of 142 million – translating to a roughly 90 percent expected internet penetration. On the other hand, internet penetration in the UAE is estimated at over 99 percent, signalling the presence of abundant opportunities for tech and internet-powered businesses in both countries.


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