Dubai Silicon Oasis Explores Collaboration with State of Maharashtra to Support Tech Startups


Nawab Malik: Dubai Technology Entrepreneur Campus will help startups in Maharashtra and will serve as a gateway to expand into the MENA region

Dubai, UAE: His Excellency Mohammed Nawab Mohammed Islam Malik, Minister of Skill Development, Employment, and Entrepreneurship, Government of Maharashtra, today visited Dubai Silicon Oasis, the integrated free zone technology park.

Accompanied by a high-level official delegation from the Government of Maharashtra, H.E. Nawab Malik met with Ghanim Al Falasi, Senior Vice President – People Happiness & Innovation. During his visit, he toured Dubai Silicon Oasis (DSO), and Dubai Technology Entrepreneur Campus (Dtec) – DSOA’s wholly owned tech hub and coworking space, and the largest of its kind in the MENA region.

As part of the visit, the minister and Ghanim Al Falasi explored collaboration between Dtec, and the Maharashtra State Innovation Society [MSInS], a nodal agency of the Government of Maharashtra to support startups in the state.

Dtec is committed to supporting technology startups in the Middle East and currently home to more than 1,000 startups from 75 countries, many which specialize in advanced technologies such as blockchain and artificial intelligence applications. In a bid to promote and attract technology-focused startups, entrepreneurs, and innovators, Dtec is committed to providing advanced facilities to startups and entrepreneurs that are engaged in developing innovative solutions including state-of-the-art co-working spaces, access to accelerators, VC fund, business support, consultancy services and participation in events among many other value-added services and support.

The Maharashtra State Innovation Society, which falls under the aegis of the Ministry of Skill Development, Employment and Entrepreneurship, currently has nearly 30,000 operational startups, with the second highest number of unicorns in India.

Strengthening strategic ties

Talking about the collaboration plans, H.E. Nawab Malik said: “This visit to the Dubai Silicon Oasis and (Dtec) is aimed at strengthening the strategic links between the Indian and Dubai innovation ecosystems. We are confident that Dtec will help a lot of startups operational in Maharashtra State Innovation Society which plan to expand into the MENA region and vice-versa. We are looking at a long and sustained collaboration with Dtec across multiple areas of skill development, as well as fostering innovations and entrepreneurship in both India and the UAE.”

For his part, Ghanim Al Falasi highlighted that Dubai has successfully positioned itself as a global destination for technology companies, and a hub for multinational companies seeking an innovation-conducive environment.

Al Falasi added: “UAE and India are key trading partners for centuries. In fact, UAE was India’s third largest trading partner with about $59.12 billion of bilateral trade in 2019-20. This is poised to grow given the UAE and Dubai’s commitment to facilitate business and trade relations with India. As part of this, (DSO) aims to be a key enabler in providing world-class facilities to Indian companies to streamline their business set-up and operations, attracting hundreds of technology companies.”

Science and technology hub

Al Falasi reiterated DSOA’s commitment to provide a conducive environment for companies from Maharashtra to establish and expand their businesses in the region. He also emphasized DSOA’s commitment to embodying its appointment as a science and technology and knowledge hub – one of the five urban centers under the Dubai 2040 Urban Master Plan – to support entrepreneurial creativity and empower entrepreneurs to establish their innovative technology concepts.

Maharashtra is the most attractive destination for foreign direct investment (FDI) in India and has attracted almost 30 per cent of total FDI flowing into India from 2000 to 2021. During the pandemic, Maharashtra has attracted investments of around $27.5 billion [Dh101.14 billion] from October 2019 to June 2021.

The state’s contribution to India’s gross domestic product is around 15 per cent and it has a significant share in exports and employment generation for the country.