SOURCE: Cisco

January 21, 2008 22:27 ET

Cisco Announces AED 5.8 Billion Five-Year ICT Investment Plan for the United Arab Emirates

Cisco Networking Academy to Expand Across the Emirates

DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES--(Marketwire - January 21, 2008) - At a meeting held today with Mohammad Al Gergawi, minister of state for Cabinet Affairs, Ahmad Bin Bayat, chairman of Tecom, and Osman Sultan, chief executive officer of du, John Chambers, Cisco® chairman and chief executive officer, announced a plan to invest up to AED 5.8 billion (USD $1.59 billion) on information and communications technology (ICT) in the United Arab Emirates over the next five years. The investment intends to support the 2015 vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, vice-president and prime minister of the UAE and ruler of Dubai, to fuel the nation's growth and development plans.

Paul Mountford, president, Emerging Markets, Cisco, said: "This investment demonstrates our continued, long-term commitment to the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The vision of the country's leadership has allowed it to transition quickly to a 'connected' world. We look forward to continued collaboration working closely with the government to help support and realize the nation's ambitious development and growth vision."

As part of this investment, which is expected to create up to 650 new jobs at Cisco by December 2010, Cisco will open a new regional headquarters office in Dubai in April 2008. The regional office will host one of Cisco's most advanced customer briefing centers allowing Cisco to showcase the latest innovations in Internet Protocol (IP) networking technology, such as Cisco TelePresence. The company will also open an office in Abu Dhabi in June 2008 to serve the growing customer base in the capital.

The new regional headquarters will continue to deliver Cisco connected real estate solutions serving customers across Emerging Markets. Conceived and developed out of Cisco's Dubai office, the operations will draw on customer experiences in the region to help support continued solutions developed collaboratively at a global level.

Mountford concluded: "Unburdened by legacy technology, the UAE is able to deploy the most advanced IP solutions, placing the country at the forefront of the Internet economy. This investment plan builds on Cisco's 15-year history in the region and demonstrates our commitment to the future of the country. It also firmly establishes the UAE as a center for innovation and not just a user of technology."

Other investments include:

--  Expansion of Cisco Networking Academies to further develop an educated
    local pool of talent that can build and manage sustained networks in the
    future. Cisco currently operates 39 Academies in the UAE.
    
--  Cisco's sponsorship of the Dubai School of Government research
    
--  Cisco Systems Capital Corporation intends to fund up to $400 million
    in the UAE over a five-year period through third-party banking partners and
    through the potential establishment of a financial services company in
    Dubai. The funding may include inventory financing for Cisco's channel
    partners in the UAE as well as potentially financing the acquisition of
    Cisco equipment, software and services by Cisco's end-user customers.
    

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