The UAE has topped the list of Middle East export destinations for Singaporean IT and telecoms companies, accounting for 71% of exports last year, according to the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA).
“The Middle East is one of the fastest growing ICT markets in the world,” said Shaik Umar, centre director for the IDA’s regional office in Qatar. “Over the past few years, infocomm companies in Singapore have successfully exported solutions and services to the region and worked on several major projects.”
However, it’s not just Singaporean companies that are finding a market in the region. Analyst firm IDC, projects total investment in IT spending by Gulf Co-operation Countries (GCC) of up to US$9.1bn (Dh33.42bn) for 2008 – a rise of 15.3% over 2007.
Umar, however, stresses that companies from outside the region need to be aware of the markets’ characteristics to develop a successful and sustainable presence in the region. “One of these is the relatively long business cycle,” he told Emirates Business 24/7. “Depending on the nature of the partnership, the sales cycle could take any time between three to 24 months, sometimes even longer.”
I've been writing about technology for nearly 20 years, including editing industry magazines Connect and Communications International. In 2002 I co-founded Futurity Media with Anthony Plewes. My focus in Futurity Media is in emerging technologies, social media and future gazing. As a graduate of philosophy & science, I have studied futurology & foresight to the post-grad level.