Tuesday, September 13, 2005

A Silicon Oasis in the Middle East?

I work in the semiconductor industry and didn't know that Dubai was attempting to create a tech center similar to Taiwan or China:

Launched in January 2004, DSO (Dubai Silicon Oasis) aims to offer an alternative to high-cost semiconductor development through its business ready infrastructure that utilizes regional talent, financial incentives and subsidies on EDA tools and technology, so that companies can quickly set up shop for accelerated time to market of their electronic products.

This would put a tech center right in the middle of the Arabian Peninsula. I think this is a good sign since this sort of development needs educated individuals, open trade, and close ties to companies that are in capitalistic, pro-West countries (Chinese companies do business at home and are not a potential market for this center).

If successful, I also think it could lead to another type of openness since the closest country with similar expertise and even potential clients is Israel, which has a very well developed technical and semiconductor fabrication center (Silicon Kibbutz?).

Maybe that is an optimistic thought, but there have been rumors that UAE and Israel are attempting to establish diplomatic ties, although they keep being scuttled, largely due to pressure from other Muslim countries. Maybe this business initiative will be one of the things that puts it over the top.

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