His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority (DSOA), has officially inaugurated Orange Business Services’ new Middle East innovation hub and regional business headquarters at the Dubai Silicon Oasis (DSO).
The official opening ceremony was attended by: Dr Mohammed Alzarooni, Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority; Thierry Bonhomme, CEO of Orange Business Services; Ludovic Pouille; the French ambassador to the UAE; and senior officials from both entities and various business partners.
Orange Business Services brings its global capabilities, experience and R&D resources with a distinct start-up approach to DSO. Orange is already one of six partners and co-sponsors of the Dubai Smart City Accelerator (DSCA), which was launched by Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority in 2017 and operated by start-upbootcamp – the global network of industry-focused start-up accelerators – that fuels start-ups with mentorship, product modelling, and preparation for go- to-market.
The new regional hub includes a solutions showroom, presenting, and demonstrating Orange Business Services’ smart solutions portfolio and capabilities in a user-friendly space, designed to stimulate further innovative ideas and collaborative business opportunities.
Dr Mohammed Alzarooni said: “At DSOA, we are committed to achieving the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to transform Dubai into the smartest city in the world. In line with this objective, we proactively focus on partnering with businesses that share our vision and contribute to enriching our integrated technology hub through shaping an environment conducive to creativity and innovation.
“We are pleased to welcome Orange Business Services, the global communications solutions provider and integrator for multinational corporations with expertise in smart city consulting, to Dubai Silicon Oasis as the latest of our distinguished partners and stakeholders. Orange Business Services counts as the newest addition to more than 74 French businesses that operate out of the hub.
“As a governmental entity, we are keen on developing bilateral relations between the UAE and France, where in 2016 trade between the two has exceeded $5.6 billion and the UAE’s investments in France account for 35% of the total investments from the region.”
Thierry Bonhomme, CEO, Orange Business Services, said: “Dubai is one of the world’s most ambitious smart cities and we chose DSO as our regional hub because of its commitment to innovation and the strength of its business and start-up ecosystem. DSO is also host to the Dubai Smart City Accelerator programme, in which we are actively working with a group of start-ups, providing mentoring, consulting and ‘proof of concept’ support. Our global innovation ecosystem now extends from Silicon Valley to Dubai Silicon Oasis, from where we will support the work of our dedicated smart cities teams across the region.
“Dubai provides the ideal base and context for our rapidly growing business in the Middle East, where we have worked for the last five decades supporting the growth and transformation of business in the region. Today, we are designing the digital blueprints for the smart infrastructure and smart services of some of the highest profile and emerging smart cities across the region.”
According to the Boston Consulting Group’s 2018 ranking, Orange is ranked first in Europe and 19th in the list of the most innovative companies in the world. Orange integrates the scale of a global enterprise and a leading innovator (with a global team of 3,800 researchers and holding 8,500 patents) to incubate its own internal start-up businesses.
The company runs its own annual, global incubator/accelerator programme, complementing the network of Orange Innovation Labs, with 15 R&D centres, Explocentres and Technocentres across four continents and located in some of the most creative cities and regions in the world.
Through its smart cities global programme, Orange Business Services works at the country, region, city, community and enterprise level – from government services to public infrastructure and utilities, smart metering and traffic management, parking and driverless cars, to district/building management, and to life enhancing personal apps for healthcare, retail, banking and the smart home.
A wholly-owned entity of the government of Dubai, Dubai Silicon Oasis operates as a free zone technology park for large enterprises as well as medium and small companies looking to set up their offices in Dubai.