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Dubai Government Launches Free Zone E-Commerce Incubator

Lorys Charambolous, Tax-news.com, Cyprus

15 November 2000


In November the Dubai government launched the incubation component of the Dubai Free Zone Authority for Technology, E-commerce and Media, the Dubai Ideas Oasis, with an initial funding of $30 million.

Dubai Ideas Oasis is an 80,000 square feet infrastructure in the vicinity of the Dubai Internet City, which will 'house' its own incubator, the Dubai Ideas Accelerator, as well as other incubators, venture capitalists and other equity funds firms. The infrastructure is expected to be completed in nine months.

The first beneficiaries of the incubation fund are the three winners of an E-Business Challenge, one of which is a start-up whose chief executive officer is only 23 years old. Mohammed Al Gergawi, director general, Technology, E-Commerce and Media Free Zone Authority and chairman of Dubai Ideas Oasis stressed that the Dubai government is building a community based on 'superb' ideas and seeing these ideas executed successfully.

Gergawi said the Dubai Ideas Oasis is a not 100 percent government owned entity and is offering equity to multinational firms who are into venture capitalism. "Dubai Ideas Oasis will form strategic partnerships with companies who can help us realise our vision. We are prepared to offer equity to companies like IBM, Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft, Oracle, Compaq, Sun Microsystems, Visa International and others who want to work with us," the executive said in yesterday's press conference. The local government, however, will maintain majority share, which is not lower than 51 percent.

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