Tecom Group, a member of top UAE investment conglomerate Dubai Holding, is celebrating the 20th anniversary of its mega project, Dubai Internet City, which pioneered the first dedicated tech community in the world.

Starting as a vision announced by HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai on October 29, 1999 to anchor the emirate as the regional technology hub, Dubai Internet City has come a long way, said a statement from Tecom.

It provides extraordinary competitive advantages for tech companies, including world-class infrastructure, an ideal environment for business success, a culture that embraces rapid growth and innovation, and finally, unrivaled simplicity of doing business.

The success of Dubai Internet City was the first in a series of successes that translated the same leadership vision, setting the foundation for Tecom Group.

Fast forward 20 years, the group has ten thriving sector-focused business communities in Dubai that are home to over 6,500 businesses and more than 95,000 professionals.

In addition to Dubai Internet City, these business communities are Dubai Media City, Dubai Knowledge Park, Dubai International Academic City, Dubai Production City, Dubai Studio City, Dubai Outsource City, Dubai Science Park, Dubai Design District, and Dubai Industrial City.

Today, the Group—a member of Dubai Holding—is a major contributor to the rapid growth of Dubai’s knowledge and innovation-based economy and the transformation of the Emirate into a magnet for some of the world’s top companies and talent.

Tecom Group CEO Malek Al Malek said: "We started as a vision of His Highness and two decades later, we are proud to be a key economic contributor to the inspiring story of Dubai. In the past 20 years, we have successfully attracted thousands of businesses across core sectors, proving at the same time that we are a bedrock for homegrown innovation."

Under the same vision of advancing the economy of the future and to support the budding entrepreneurship ecosystem, Tecom Group also launched startup incubator in5 in 2013, providing an innovation pipeline and a solid link between the top-notch educational institutions that host over 27,000 students within its communities and its business partners.

This also provides opportunities for more businesses to succeed and equips upcoming talent with future-proof skillsets. The incubator currently hosts over 200 startups who raised Dh400 million by the third quarter, said the top official.

Having set the scene for the region’s rapidly growing startup ecosystem, Dubai Internet City is home to the biggest success stories that have inspired the region, such as the Careem-Uber deal, the Amazon acquisition of ecommerce marketplace Souq, and the funding deal of Anghami, amongst others, said Malek.

The Group’s business communities continue to witness steady growth, he said.

"To further drive innovation, productivity and economic growth in Dubai, we are on a mission to set new world benchmarks when it comes to doing business. As our ecosystem matures, we foresee more innovations and local success stories coming out of our communities and soaring to global recognition," he added.

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