SAP on Tuesday announced its five-year strategy to invest $200 million in the UAE on Tuesday underpinning objectives outlined by the UAE Vision 2021 plan to create economic diversity and jobs.
The German firm’s high-profile inauguration of its regional headquarters at Dubai Internet City (DIC) was attended by Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, and senior officials.
“We are delighted to be formally inaugurating the new SAP Mena headquarters in Dubai Internet City. Throughout the years, DIC has witnessed SAP’s phenomenal growth in Dubai and the region, and the inauguration of its Mena headquarters is another significant milestone in our shared history,” Ammar Al Malik, executive director, Dubai Internet City (DIC), said.
He said Dubai today is an accelerator of innovation, digitalisation, and growth, and DIC is a key catalyst at the heart of the innovation mandate. “SAP is one of the most innovative companies in ERP and cloud solutions, and we look forward to enabling the growth and development of this industry,” he said.
SAP has more than 345,000 customers in 190 countries and generated total revenue of $22 billion for 2016. Europe, the Middle East, and Africa account for 44 per cent of total global revenue.
Malik said that DIC has 1,600-plus registered companies and will continue to support the key industries and their development. “The enabling of the industries is a critical strategy for DIC as we are mandated to support Dubai Plan 2021, which aims to reinforce Dubai’s positioning as a global centre and destination across a number of fields. We support the economy, companies and growth of innovative companies and that will continue to be our priority in next few years.
“Companies based within Dubai Internet City (DIC) work in a highly collaborative ecosystem. As Dubai attracts more global companies, its essential to support innovative strategies and goals and both, DIC and In5 play a crucial role here. DIC is home to several Fortune 500 companies, which reinforces our image as an innovation hub. Our aim is to keep up this momentum and be part of Dubai’s efforts to become the smartest city in the world in the coming years,” he said.
SAP also announced plans to establish its first SAP Cloud Data Centre in the UAE in 2017. Through the data centre, organisations will be able to benefit from SAP cloud solutions, harnessing the real-time capabilities of the powerful in-memory platform, SAP HANA. The SAP data centre will accelerate innovative business models especially for the UAE’s government, banking and finance and healthcare sectors. A recent report from Gartner shows that the Mena public cloud services market is set to roughly double, from about $1 billion in 2016 to about $2 billion in 2020.
“Our UAE investment plan and our new Middle East and North Africa headquarters in Dubai affirm our commitment to this strategic market, with public-private partnerships fueling digital transformation, co-innovation, talent development and entrepreneurship,” said Luka Mucic, chief financial officer and member of the executive board, SAP SE. The first such investment plan ($450 million) had been announced in 2012.
SAP, which was recently announced as a Premier Partner for Expo 2020 Dubai, also launched its first Co-Innovation Lab (COIL) in the UAE, its 15th lab across the globe, facilitating project-based co-innovation with customers and partners. SAP Co-Innovation Labs, located in high-tech clusters around the globe, provide opportunities to foster innovations with local ecosystems.
The new SAP headquarters will serve as the hub for SAP’s Training and Development Institute (TDI). The TDI has upskilled thousands of students and young graduates, and successfully implemented programs to sponsor and empower entrepreneurs in the UAE and across the region. TDI is committed to develop local talent, hiring millennials, and supporting women in the workforce.