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Amina Al Rustamani

UAE, DUBAI - Telecoms & IT

Media Moguls

Group CEO, TECOM Investments

Bio

Amina Al Rustamani has a Bachelor’s, Master’s, and PhD degree in Engineering from George Washington University, Washington, DC, and she is widely recognized as one of the Arab world’s most influential business people. She sits on a number of boards across both the public and private sectors, including the National Media Council, an industry body established to regulate the UAE’s media sector, and Dubai Media Incorporated (DMI). She also sits on the boards of Empower, the Higher Colleges of Technology, Dubai Free Zones Council, Dubai Healthcare City Authority, and HULT International Business School. Originally, Rustamani joined TECOM in 2001 as a Project Engineer for SamaCom. In January 2013, she became Group CEO of TECOM Investments.

TECOM’s portfolio comprises 10 business parks under five industry clusters across the ICT, media, manufacturing, education, and sciences sectors. What kind of changes have they seen over the past several […]

TECOM’s portfolio comprises 10 business parks under five industry clusters across the ICT, media, manufacturing, education, and sciences sectors. What kind of changes have they seen over the past several years?

TECOM was founded in 2000. Initially, it was designed to attract foreign technology and media companies into the Emirate. Our role has ultimately been in helping Dubai to develop a more diversified, knowledge-based economy. TECOM’s 10 business parks now play host to over 4,500 companies and 70,000 knowledge workers across the ICT, media, education, sciences, and manufacturing sectors. We play host to a wide variety of firms, from SMEs to Fortune 500 companies and multinationals. Industry giants such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Oracle, Thomson Reuters, and MBC are just a few examples of the global businesses choosing to base their regional operations in one of TECOM’s business parks. According to a recent World Bank report on the knowledge economy, the UAE has the highest employment growth rate in the MENA region. We have seen employment reach 3.5 million in 2009 from 1.7 million in 2000—the year that TECOM’s first free zone business park, Dubai Internet City, was established. This shows a significant rate of growth, and we work hard toward sustaining a comparable trajectory, market conditions allowing. Real, thriving, and substantial business is going on within TECOM’s clusters, underpinning Dubai’s drive to become a knowledge economy.

Why is it important for Dubai to develop a diversified economy as per HH Sheikh Mohammed’s Vision? How does TECOM fit into this vision?

Dubai recognized early on that it had far less natural resources relative to those of its neighbors. We needed to forge another way forward. The free zones are the result of a determined effort to diversify and develop a leading knowledge-based economy underpinned by a larger private sector. This approach has been very successful, and now contributes approximately 30% to Dubai’s GDP. TECOM Investments is a wholly owned subsidiary of Dubai Holding. Due to the nature of our ownership by Dubai Holding, we are acutely aware of the ambitions and future vision for Dubai. TECOM is keenly focused on its responsibility to help develop and diversify Dubai’s economy, create jobs, and provide sustainable, realistic growth along the way.

How will the leadership’s vision to further develop the sector, in combination with the World Expo 2020 bid, impact Dubai’s business environment and TECOM’s future?

Dubai’s ongoing investment in infrastructure is certainly of benefit to TECOM. By locating within one of TECOM’s business parks, companies do not just enjoy the benefits of being part of a dedicated and thriving industry cluster with all the infrastructure that goes with that, but they also have excellent connectivity to the rest of the world by both air and sea. Dubai International Airport is one of the world’s great airports, and there is another under development; a leading global airline in Emirates Airline; and two deep-water seaports, Mina Rashid and Jebel Ali. Should Dubai be blessed with World Expo 2020, then we would see further investment in infrastructure, which in turn would boost commerce and tourism numbers, and underpin economic confidence. This will of course benefit TECOM Investments as well. As a Group, our vision is directly in line with Dubai Expo 2020’s strategic theme; “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future.” We strongly believe that connections between people, societies and ideas are crucial for invention. In a world of long-distance communication, Dubai Expo 2020 is the perfect forum for innovators across the world to come together and create.

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