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Wed 16 Oct 2002 04:00 AM

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IBM invests in the Gulf’s future

IBM and Zayed University's partnership seeks to bring e-innovation to the region.

His Excellency Sheikh Nahayan has announced Smart Square, an e-innovation center to be jointly set up in Dubai by IBM and Zayed University.Smart Square will open after Ramadan in Dubai Internet City. It is the first centre of its kind in the region, and will cater for Arab nations from Egypt to Pakistan. The centre has invited local entrepreneurs to come forward with ideas that can be developed at the centre.Sheikh Nahayan says, “I am optimistic that this centre will emerge as a major player in fostering technological innovation in the UAE and in the region.” Farid Metwaly, general manager of IBM Middle East, Egypt and Pakistan, adds “Smart Square will be a unique center in the Middle East and will provide the latest technological solutions for both corporates and SMEs. It means that local businessmen needn’t have to travel to Europe or the USA to take advantage of the benefits the latest technology can offer.”The centre will host showcases, conferences and seminars and will be used by IBM to sell its services and solutions to customers in the region. Key areas that IBM is targeting include the financial, government, oil and gas and leisure and tourism sectors. The solutions it is focusing on include e-CRM, e-learning, e-HR and e-government.Zayed University students will share the workload in developing and delivering these solutions. Dell Felder, provost of Zayed University, says, “Zayed University’s aim is to ensure that our students are prepared to participate in businesses when they graduate. It is very important that our students gain this sort of valuable real-world experience.”

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