The global software giant SAP signed an agreement yesterday with Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority to invest millions of dollars in a software training and development institute aimed primarily at Emiratis and regional talent.
The investment is part of a $450 million capital expenditure program to spent over the next four years in the Middle East and North Africa.
SAP Mena - a subsidiary of German SAP AG, the world's largest manufacturer of business software - expects to train about 2,000 IT consultants by 2015. The institute will be based at DSOA and hopes to start training its first Emirati candidates within two months.
Representatives from other countries in the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) region will also be offered places depending on demand.
"The institute will help build innovation and transfer of knowledge in the region," said Mohammed Al Zarooni the vice chairman and chief executive of DSOA.
The programme will have links with the SAP University Alliances programme, which gives training on SAP technologies at 26 institutions across the region.
"We plan to double that number in the next few years," Mr Alkharrat said, referring to SAP's 26 institutions across the region.
The managing director of SAP Mena, Sam Alkharrat, said the initiative was likely to be expanded and would create employment.
"This signifies the investments we are making in the region to upskill local talent and create much-needed employment," he said.
The UAE is SAP's second-largest market in the region after Saudi Arabia. The going is good for the German company. It beat analyst expectations to post €1.06bn (Dh4.5bn) in sales of new software licences - an indicator of future revenue - in the second quarter.
Operating profit in the period rose to €920m - a 7 per cent increase on last year. Analysts had predicted the figure at €880m.
SAP's robust performance comes at a time when other industry giants, including India's Infosys and the Swiss banking software company Temenos Group, warned of slower growth.
About 32 per cent of the companies DSOA hosts are European. The technology park in Dubai earned Dh308.6m in operating revenue last year.
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Note - This article has been clarified from the original version, which stated the investment in software training was $450 million, rather than than being past of a $450 million expenditure program.