Intel will relocate talent from its global network to the new R&D base in Dubai. (Pictured: Ammar Al Malik, Executive Vice-President for Commercial leasing at Tecom Group and Taha Khalifa, General Manager at Intel Corporation Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: The Dubai Internet City has bagged Intel as the latest addition to its collection of ‘innovation centers’. The US chipmaker will base its facility meant exclusively for AI software R&D at the Dubai hub.

“Because it’s for AI related research, it’s quite a futuristic solution and would fit in with the wider push the Dubai government has been making on robotics, Blockchain as part of the digital transformation,” said Ammar Al Malik, Executive Vice-President for Commercial leasing at Tecom Group.

Just as important is the fact that the Intel center will work closely with local academic institutions, thus creating a talent pool to draw on. “That’s the longer term goal – of building that talent pool within an innovative eco-system,” said Al Malik. “That means the Dubai Knowledge Park, the Media City apart from DIC – it all adds up, you see.”

DIC's 15th

For the record, this is DIC’s 15th innovation center, with Microsoft, Huawei, Oracle, Visa and Mastercard among the others. “The trend has been they would build solutions for the UAE and the region from Dubai Internet City,” said Al Malik. “It’s something that’s worked well for years.

“These innovation centers are part of the offices or regional headquarters of the companies. In that respect, we haven’t had to provide new land to build anew.”

Which sort of brings back a question that Al Malik has had to face quite a lot of these past years – ‘Is it time DIC decided to build a second hub having more or less used up all the available space at the original site?’

Al Malik gives a response that’s neither a Yes or a No. “Seeing the trends in the real estate market and the consistent demand Dubai Internet City has had within that, those decisions to build a new location will be taken at the right time. Everything has to be done right on any such decision.”

Tecom Group, which went through a highly successful IPO, remains one if Dubai’s leading landlords and owner of commercial real estate. Dubai Internet City launched in 1999 remains the flagship, and even with the ebbs and flows in the global and regional tech space, keeps drawing in tenants.

Intel’s staffing

Intel will relocate AI experts from various offices to bring international tech talent and skills into the DIC community.

According to Taha Khalifa, General Manager for the region at Intel Corporation, “The launch of the center not only represents a milestone in Intel’s strategy to accelerate and align with digital transformation and economic diversification objectives, but is also a strong opportunity to collaborate across the region’s talented and growing technology ecosystem to help drive further AI innovation to fuel global solutions for many segments including healthcare, transportation and public safety.”

That’s more tech solutions coming out from bases in DIC…