Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai Silicon Oasis is well integrated as a neighborhood, but larger in size. Strategically located on the intersection of Al Ain Road and Sheikh Mohammad bin Zayed Road, it boasts a pleasant community that includes residential areas, lifestyle areas, retail spaces, F&B outlets, hotels, parks, leading educational institutions, a tennis hub, and four mosques, among many other offerings.

Dubai Silicon Oasis has a population that exceeds 90,000 and houses a total of 890 retail shops throughout the community, with 85 of them located at the Dubai Digital Park (DDP), the first integrated smart city of its kind in Dubai, located in DSO.

Smart City

Dubai Digital Park, a holistic smart solution-enabled community spanning an area of 150,000 square meters, comprises 47,000sqm of office space, 17,000sqm of retail units, 235 smart residential apartments and more than 5,000sqm of ready-made and plug and play offices. Its host of value-added contemporary lifestyle facilities includes a 112-key Radisson RED hotel and 59 fully furnished apartments. DDP also includes a convention centre that can host up to 500 persons, restaurants, cafés, fitness centres, running tracks and cycling trails, a shopping centre and an underground parking garage that can accommodate more than 2,000 cars.

DDP provides 60 smart city services, offered through a unified and secure platform that effectively integrates the operational requirements of enterprises with the needs of employees, residents, and visitors. The smart services, at an investment of Dh100 million, aim to promote smart city initiatives that are aligned with the vision of making Dubai the smartest and happiest city in the world.

Some of the leading shopping malls and community centers located at DDP and the wider DSO community include Majid Al Futtaim’s Carrefour Hypermarket, Lootah Group’s Souq Extra, Spinneys, DSOA’s owned Cedre Shopping Centre, and Choithrams.

Silicon Central Mall

In addition, DSO comprises the two-level 2.3 million-square-foot Silicon Central Mall, built on a landbank of one million square feet, which offers world-class shopping, dining, and entertainment experiences to the DSO population. Counting more than 300 international and local branded stores and 12 anchor stores, the new shopping mall also houses the ever-popular LuLu Hypermarket and a department store on two levels. Other key attractions include the biggest family entertainment centre spread across 70,000 square feet, as well as more than 50 F&B outlets and diverse entertainment and leisure offerings.

Community common areas

Furthermore, there are several public community parks at DSO — North Park, Lake Park, and Central Park — which offer a diverse mix of amenities, including a 2.2km jogging path, an outdoor gym, a 90m x 45m football pitch, a tennis court, a volleyball court, a skatepark, and a multipurpose court, all set amidst landscaped areas with water fountains, kids’ play areas, sports facilities, and F&B options.

Moreover, Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority recently opened Sheikha Ali Mosque at DSO. With a built-up area of 1,172 square meters, the mosque can accommodate up to 650 worshippers, serving the residential and business communities adjacent to Dubai Digital Park. It is part of a total area of 4,896 square meters, including 60 parking spaces and five retail outlets.

Pioneering innovative healthcare

As for healthcare, the Dh1.5 billion Fakeeh University Hospital at Dubai Silicon Oasis is the first-of-its-kind smart university hospital in the UAE, spanning one million square feet, combining integrated AI-robotic systems and medical competencies to take the sector to new heights.

The hospital partnered with global technology companies including Siemens, Philips, and Cisco to develop innovative systems whose proof of concepts and applications in the healthcare field will further cement its position as the first truly smart hospital of the future in Dubai. The 350-bed smart facility provides primary, secondary, and tertiary care through leading medical practitioners across 55 specialties. Equipped with cutting-edge technology, its systems are set up to treat an estimated 700,000 patients a year, serving communities in the UAE and the wider region.

Advanced technology education

In the academic field, DSO is home to 28 educational, training and consulting institutions. Phase one of the Dh500 million new Rochester Institute of Technology — Dubai (RIT Dubai) campus at DSO has been completed. It spans 30,000 square meters, including academic classrooms and advanced laboratories, at an estimated cost of Dh200 million. Meanwhile, phase two is slated for handover in 2023 at a projected cost of Dh300 million, adding 116,000 square meters to the campus. With the capacity to accommodate 4,000 students, the new campus will comply with the latest sustainability, smart city, and connectivity standards.

Additional education options

Vernus International School (VIS), managed by Edu Hub, is the first American primary school to open its premises in Dubai Silicon Oasis, spanning an area of 65,000 square feet, with a total investment of Dh50 million. In its first phase, the primary school can accommodate up to 600 students, bringing the total number of educational seats available in DSO to 7,100. Phase two of VIS will include secondary classes, and phase three will be VIS Academy.

Moreover, the GEMS Wellington Academy Silicon Oasis (GEMS WSO), a community school at the heart of DSO offering a fully inclusive British curriculum, also plays a key role in nurturing students to become world-class, world-ready citizens, preparing them for a world of accelerating change while focusing on the development of learning skills and competencies.

DSOA recently completed a 10,000 square meters student accommodation complex, comprising four buildings with fully furnished units of varying sizes, which can accommodate more than 450 students from across the nation. The complex includes retail shops, F&B outlets, recreational common areas, and study halls for the students. The entire facility will offer free Wi-Fi access, in addition to providing complementary transportation for students between the complex and their universities and several shopping centres.

Entrepreneurship and start-ups

Dtec Image Credit: Supplied

In a bid to promote and attract technology-focused start-ups, entrepreneurs, and innovators, the Dubai Technology Entrepreneur Campus (Dtec), the largest tech hub and co-working space in the MENA region wholly owned by DSOA, is committed to providing advanced facilities to start-ups and entrepreneurs that are engaged in developing innovative solutions for smart cities, such as overcoming congestion, and ensuring effective waste management and energy efficiency. Dtec, is currently home to more than 1,000 start-ups from 75 countries with many start-ups working on blockchain and AI technologies.

Dubai Silicon Oasis has proved to be a preferred destination to thousands of multinational and national companies working in the high-tech industries such as Porsche, Schneider Electric, Jaguar Land Rover, Henkel, Mitsubishi Electric, W Motors, Western Digital, and many more. ■