Dubai Internet City Area Guide 2023

Dictricts Dubai Internet City Area Guide 2023
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~22 min
07/27/2023
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Introduction

Dubai Internet City (DIC) is a vibrant and dynamic business community adjacent to Sheikh Zayed Road in Dubai. It was founded in 1999 and has become a strategic base for companies in the region's emerging markets. DIC provides a range of office spaces and facilities catering to the needs of various industries, especially those in the information and communications technology (ICT) sector.

DIC offers a free zone environment, meaning companies operating within the zone benefit from certain economic rules and regulations, including tax exemptions and 100% foreign ownership. This favorable business environment attracts numerous international investors and companies to establish their operations in DIC.

History of Dubai Internet City

Dubai Internet City (DIC) was founded in 1999 as a strategic initiative by the government of Dubai, aiming to establish a thriving hub for the information and communications technology (ICT) industry in the Middle East. The concept of DIC stemmed from the vision of creating a knowledge-based economy in Dubai and transforming the emirate into a global technology and business destination.

DIC experienced significant growth and development since its establishment. In the early years, DIC attracted several key multinational companies to set up their operations within its free zone. This influx of companies contributed to DIC's rapid expansion and reputation as a leading ICT hub in the region. Major players such as Microsoft were among the early adopters who recognized the potential of DIC.

Over time, DIC has evolved into a dynamic ecosystem, continually adapting to the changing needs of the ICT industry and the business community. It has expanded its infrastructure and facilities to cater to the growing demand from both multinational corporations and startups. DIC has also focused on fostering innovation and collaboration, providing support services, and hosting events that promote knowledge sharing and networking among its member companies.

DIC has played a vital role in shaping the technology landscape of Dubai and the broader Middle East region. It has facilitated the growth of various sectors, including software development, telecommunications, e-commerce, digital media, and more. The continuous evolution of DIC has helped position Dubai as a global center for technology, attracting talent, investment, and innovation from around the world.

Geography and Architecture of Dubai Internet City

Geography and Architecture

Dubai Internet City (DIC) is strategically located adjacent to Sheikh Zayed Road in Dubai, making it easily accessible from different parts of the city. The area where DIC is situated, known as Dubai Internet City's business district, is characterized by modern urban development and a skyline filled with sleek high-rise buildings.

The architecture of DIC reflects the contemporary and futuristic design elements that are synonymous with Dubai's overall cityscape. The buildings within DIC feature modern glass facades, sleek lines, and state-of-the-art infrastructure. The design of the buildings emphasizes functionality, efficiency, and a professional aesthetic.

The physical layout of DIC is well-planned, with wide roads, landscaped areas, and pedestrian-friendly zones. The free zone's infrastructure is designed to cater to the specific needs of ICT companies, providing them with the necessary facilities and amenities to conduct their operations seamlessly. The layout also includes ample parking spaces, making it convenient for employees and visitors.

One of the unique aspects of DIC is its emphasis on creating a business community that fosters collaboration and innovation. The architecture and layout of DIC are designed to facilitate networking and interaction among companies. Shared spaces, such as meeting rooms, conference halls, and collaborative work areas, encourage knowledge sharing and cross-pollination of ideas.

Another unique feature of DIC is its close proximity to Dubai Marina, a waterfront development that offers a vibrant lifestyle and leisure options. The combination of the business-focused environment of DIC and the nearby residential and recreational amenities of Dubai Marina creates a well-rounded experience for the professionals and residents in the area.

In terms of sustainability, DIC is committed to promoting environmentally friendly practices. The buildings incorporate energy-efficient systems, such as LED lighting, smart temperature control, and sustainable construction materials. This focus on sustainability aligns with Dubai's broader vision of becoming a green city and contributes to reducing the ecological footprint of the business district.

Key Attractions

  1. Innovation Hub. DIC is home to a vibrant innovation ecosystem, attracting startups, entrepreneurs, and technology enthusiasts. The innovation hub offers networking opportunities, workshops, and events that foster creativity, collaboration, and knowledge sharing.

  2. Companies and Tech Giants. DIC hosts a wide range of global tech companies, including Microsoft, Oracle, Cisco, IBM, and Dell. Visitors can explore these companies' offices, witness cutting-edge technologies, and learn about their latest innovations.

  3. Events and Conferences. DIC frequently hosts industry-specific events, conferences, and seminars, providing a platform for professionals to network, gain insights, and stay updated on the latest trends in the ICT sector. These events offer valuable learning and business development opportunities.

  4. Dubai Internet City Lake. Adjacent to DIC, the Dubai Internet City Lake adds to the area's scenic beauty. The lake is a man-made body of water surrounded by lush greenery, providing a tranquil setting amidst the bustling business district. Visitors can take a leisurely stroll along the lake's promenade, relax on benches, or simply enjoy the serene ambiance.

By keeping these tips in mind, visitors can make the most of their experience in Dubai Internet City and explore the key attractions and opportunities it offers in the technology and business domains.

  • Best Time to Visit. Dubai experiences hot temperatures during the summer months (June to September), so visiting DIC during the cooler months is advisable, from October to April. The weather during these months is more pleasant and suitable for outdoor activities.

  • Entry and Ticket Information. DIC is a business district and does not require an entry ticket. However, access to specific events or conferences may require registration or purchase of tickets. It is recommended to check the event schedules and registration process in advance.

  • Plan Ahead. If you're interested in visiting a specific company or attending an event in DIC, it's best to plan ahead and check their availability and visitor policies. Some companies may require prior appointments or have restrictions on visitor access.

  • Transportation. DIC is well-connected by public transportation, including the Dubai Metro. Visitors can take the metro to the nearest station and then use taxis or ride-sharing services to reach specific destinations within DIC.

  • Comfortable Attire. DIC is a professional business district, so it's recommended to dress in business or smart casual attire. Additionally, wear comfortable shoes as you may need to walk between buildings or explore the surrounding areas.

  • Networking Opportunities. If you're interested in networking with professionals in the ICT industry, attending events and conferences in DIC can provide valuable opportunities. Engage in conversations, exchange business cards, and connect with the vibrant community.

Culture and Lifestyle of Dubai Internet City

Culture and Lifestyle

Dubai Internet City (DIC) is situated in Dubai, a city known for its rich cultural heritage and a blend of traditional and modern influences. The local culture of Dubai is influenced by Emirati traditions and the diverse expatriate population that resides in the city.

A combination of cosmopolitanism and deep-rooted respect for local customs characterizes the lifestyle in Dubai. The city embraces modernity and innovation while connecting strongly to its cultural heritage. DIC residents, comprising Emiratis and expatriates, often enjoy a dynamic and multicultural lifestyle.

Hospitality is an essential aspect of Emirati culture, and visitors to DIC can experience warm and generous hospitality from the locals. Traditional Arab hospitality involves offering guests dates, Arabic coffee (known as gahwa), and engaging in friendly conversations.

The Islamic holy month of Ramadan holds significant importance in Dubai's culture. During this time, Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset, and visitors to DIC should respect the fasting hours. Refraining from eating, drinking, or smoking in public during daylight hours is customary out of respect for those observing the fast.

Emirati culture also values modesty and conservative dressing. While DIC is a professional business district, it is advisable to dress modestly and respectfully, especially during interactions with local Emirati colleagues or clients. This includes avoiding revealing or tight-fitting clothing.

Traditional arts and crafts are an integral part of Emirati culture. Visitors to DIC can explore local markets to witness the craftsmanship and find unique souvenirs. Traditional dance forms, such as the traditional Emirati dance called Al-Ayyalah, can also be experienced at cultural events and festivals in Dubai.

The local cuisine of Dubai reflects the city's diverse cultural influences, with Emirati, Middle Eastern, and international flavors available. Visitors to DIC can indulge in traditional Emirati dishes, such as camel meat, fish machboos (a spiced rice dish), and luqaimat (sweet dumplings).

It is important to note that Dubai follows Islamic law, and visitors should respect local customs and practices. For example, public displays of affection are considered inappropriate, and consumption of alcohol is restricted to licensed establishments.

Culinary Scene

Some of the famous traditional Emirate cuisine dishes include:

  1. Machboos. A spiced rice dish is typically made with meat (such as chicken, lamb, or fish), mixed with fragrant spices, and served with a salad or yogurt.

  2. Al Harees. A traditional dish made with wheat and meat (usually chicken or lamb), slow-cooked until it forms a thick, creamy porridge-like consistency.

  3. Shawarma. Marinated meat (usually chicken or lamb) roasted on a vertical spit, thinly sliced, and served in warm pita bread with various condiments and sauces.

  4. Luqaimat. Sweet dumplings made from flour, yeast, sugar, and cardamom, deep-fried until golden brown and drizzled with date syrup or honey.

Notable restaurants and cafes of Internet City include:

  1. Paratha King Restaurant. Known for its delicious Indian parathas, this restaurant offers a variety of stuffed parathas, including vegetarian and non-vegetarian options. It's a popular spot for breakfast or a quick bite.

  2. Little Bangkok. This Thai restaurant in DIC serves authentic Thai cuisine, including classic dishes like Pad Thai, Green Curry, and Tom Yum Soup. It offers a vibrant ambiance and a wide range of flavors to satisfy Thai food enthusiasts.

  3. Joga is popular for healthy and delicious salads, wraps, and bowls. With an emphasis on fresh ingredients and customizable options, it caters to those seeking nutritious and flavorful meals.

  4. Sumo Sushi & Bento DMC. A go-to place for sushi lovers, Sumo Sushi & Bento offers a variety of Japanese dishes, including sushi rolls, bento boxes, and noodle bowls. It's known for its fresh ingredients and flavorful combinations.

Shopping Experience in Dubai Internet City

Shopping Experience

Dubai is renowned for its vibrant shopping scene, offering a mix of traditional markets (souks) and modern malls. While there are no souks within Dubai Internet City (DIC), visitors can explore nearby markets and malls to indulge in various shopping experiences:

  • Golden Mile Galleria. Situated on the Palm Jumeirah, nearby DIC, Golden Mile Galleria is a lifestyle destination featuring boutique stores, cafes, restaurants, and wellness centers. Visitors can enjoy a leisurely shopping experience in a stylish and relaxed environment.
  • Mall of the Emirates. As one of Dubai's largest and most iconic malls, located near DIC, Mall of the Emirates offers an extensive range of shopping options. Visitors can explore luxury brands, fashion outlets, electronics stores, department stores, and entertainment facilities like Ski Dubai, a world-class indoor ski resort.
  • The Greens Souk. Located in close proximity to DIC, The Greens Souk offers a range of retail outlets, including grocery stores, fashion boutiques, specialty shops, and dining options. Visitors can find a variety of products, from fresh produce to trendy fashion items.

Consider these tips for haggling and navigating before visiting Dubai markets:

  1. Souk Haggling. If you visit traditional markets or souks, such as the Dubai Gold Souk or the Spice Souk, haggling is a common practice. Approach the process with politeness and negotiate the price with confidence. Remember to be respectful and know the item's market value to get a fair deal.

  2. Bargaining Etiquette. When haggling, start with a lower counter-offer than the original price, and gradually increase your offer until you reach a mutually acceptable price. Be prepared for friendly banter and expect some back-and-forth negotiation.

  3. Navigation Tips. When navigating markets, having a general idea of what you're looking for and the price range is helpful. Take your time to explore different shops and compare prices before making a purchase. Remember that souks can be bustling and crowded, so be mindful of your belongings and stay alert.

  4. Payment Options. Most markets and malls in Dubai accept credit cards, but carrying some cash is also advisable, especially when visiting smaller shops or street vendors within the markets.

Accommodation Options

  1. Luxury Hotels. Dubai is renowned for its luxury hotels that offer world-class amenities, exceptional service, and stunning views. These hotels often feature multiple restaurants, spa facilities, swimming pools, and other luxurious amenities for a comfortable and indulgent stay.

  2. Serviced Apartments. Serviced apartments provide a home-away-from-home experience, offering the convenience of a fully furnished space with kitchen facilities, living areas, and separate bedrooms. They are ideal for extended stays or those who prefer a more independent and spacious accommodation.

  3. Mid-Range Hotels. Mid-range hotels provide comfortable and well-appointed rooms with standard amenities, including dining options and fitness facilities. These hotels offer a balance between affordability and comfort, making them suitable for travelers with moderate budgets.

  4. Budget-Friendly Accommodations. For budget-conscious travelers, various affordable accommodations are available, including budget hotels, hostels, and guesthouses. These options provide basic amenities and a cost-effective solution for those looking for a place to stay without compromising on comfort and cleanliness.

Suggestions for different budgets and preferences:

  • Luxury. Consider renowned hotels like Grand Plaza Mövenpick Media City for an opulent experience with impeccable service and luxurious amenities.

  • Mid-Range. Hotels like Staybridge Suites Dubai Internet City offer comfortable rooms, modern facilities, and convenient access to DIC and nearby attractions at a more affordable price point.

  • Serviced Apartments. Options such as Two Seasons Hotel and Apartments - Internet City provide spacious accommodations with the convenience of a fully equipped kitchen and additional living space.

  • Budget-Friendly. For budget travelers, options like Holiday Inn Express Dubai - Internet City offer affordable rates, comfortable rooms, and convenient access to transportation and shopping centers.

Getting Around

  1. Dubai Metro. The Dubai Metro is a reliable and efficient mode of transportation. The Red Line runs through DIC, with two nearby stations Dubai Internet City Metro Station and Nakheel Metro Station. The metro connects various key locations in Dubai, including popular tourist attractions and commercial areas.

  2. Buses. The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) operates an extensive bus network throughout Dubai. Visitors can use buses to reach DIC and explore other city areas. The RTA provides comprehensive route maps and schedules to assist travelers in planning their journeys.

  3. Taxis. Taxis are widely available in Dubai and offer a convenient way to travel around the city. Both traditional metered taxis and ride-hailing services like Uber and Careem are accessible. Taxis can be hailed on the street, or passengers can book them through smartphone applications.

Use these tips for navigating the area:

  1. Plan your route. Before setting out, planning your route and identifying the nearest metro stations or bus stops to your destination in DIC is helpful. Use online maps or smartphone apps like RTA Dubai or Google Maps to navigate your way.

  2. Nol Card. To use public transportation, it is recommended to obtain a Nol Card. This smart card can be loaded with credit and used for metro, bus, and water taxi fare payments. The Nol Card offers convenience and can be easily topped up at metro stations or authorized retailers.

  3. Metro timings. Familiarize yourself with the Dubai Metro timings. Trains operate from approximately 5:30 AM until midnight (subject to change). During weekends, the metro runs until 1 AM. Be aware of any service disruptions or changes in timings, especially during public holidays.

  4. Travel during off-peak hours. If possible, consider traveling during off-peak hours to avoid crowded metro carriages or buses. The morning and evening rush hours can be busy, particularly on weekdays.

  5. Use alternative transportation apps. Besides taxis, consider using ride-hailing apps like Uber or Careem for convenient door-to-door transportation within Dubai. These apps allow you to book private cars and track your journey.

  6. Follow local norms. When using public transportation, it's important to be mindful of local customs and norms. Respect the designated seating areas for women and families, and maintain appropriate behavior while traveling.

Special Events

Dubai Internet City (DIC) hosts various events, festivals, and celebrations throughout the year, catering to professionals, entrepreneurs, and technology enthusiasts. These events provide opportunities for networking, knowledge sharing, and showcasing the latest advancements in the information and communications technology (ICT) sector. Some of the notable events in DIC include:

  1. Tech Talks and Seminars. DIC organizes regular tech talks and seminars featuring industry experts, thought leaders, and innovators. These events focus on emerging trends, disruptive technologies, and best practices in the ICT field. Participants can gain insights, expand their knowledge, and engage in meaningful discussions.

  2. Entrepreneurship and Startup Events. DIC supports entrepreneurship and startup culture by hosting events that nurture innovation and provide a platform for aspiring entrepreneurs. These events include startup competitions, pitch sessions, and mentorship programs, fostering an environment of collaboration and fostering new ideas.

  3. Technology Exhibitions and Trade Shows. DIC often hosts technology exhibitions and trade shows where companies can showcase their products, services, and innovations to a wider audience. These events attract industry professionals, potential investors, and tech enthusiasts, offering business collaborations and partnerships opportunities.

  4. Networking and Business Events. DIC arranges networking events and business gatherings, bringing together professionals from diverse industries. These events offer a platform for building connections, fostering business relationships, and exploring collaboration opportunities.

The specific dates and schedules of events in DIC may vary from year to year. DIC often hosts startup events and competitions as part of larger entrepreneurship initiatives. These events may occur periodically or coincide with specific startup-focused programs or campaigns.

Practical Information

  1. Currency. The official currency of Dubai and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is the UAE Dirham (AED). It is advisable to exchange currency at authorized exchange centers and banks or withdraw cash from ATMs that accept international cards.

  2. Language. Arabic is the official language of Dubai and the UAE. However, English is widely spoken and understood, especially in tourist areas, hotels, and businesses. Visitors will find it easy to communicate in English.

  3. Time Zone. Dubai operates on Gulf Standard Time (GST), which is four hours ahead of Coordinated Universal Time (UTC+4). There are no daylight saving time changes observed in Dubai.

  4. Electricity. The standard electrical voltage in Dubai is 220-240 volts AC. The plugs and sockets typically used are of the Type G (three-pin) or Type C (two-pin) variety. Carrying a universal travel adapter is advisable if your electronic devices use different plug types.

Safety considerations and emergency contact information:

  1. Safety Precautions. Dubai is generally considered a safe city with low crime rates. However, taking basic safety precautions such as being aware of your surroundings, avoiding isolated areas at night, and keeping your belongings secure is always advisable.

  2. Emergency Contacts. In case of an emergency, the following numbers can be contacted:

    • Police: 999

    • Ambulance: 998

    • Fire Department: 997

  3. Health and Medical Facilities. Dubai has well-equipped medical facilities and hospitals. It is recommended to have travel insurance that covers medical emergencies. In case of non-emergency medical assistance, clinics and pharmacies are available throughout the city.

  4. Respect Local Customs. Dubai follows Islamic traditions and local customs. Visitors are expected to respect the local culture and customs, dress modestly in public areas, and refrain from public displays of affection.

Conclusion

Dubai Internet City (DIC) emerges as a dynamic and thriving destination that combines technology, business, and innovation in the heart of Dubai. DIC not only offers a strategic base for companies to tap into regional emerging markets, but it also provides a host of amenities and facilities that make it an attractive choice for entrepreneurs and professionals.

DIC's commitment to fostering innovation and technology is complemented by world-class hospitals within its vicinity. These hospitals provide essential healthcare services and contribute to the overall well-being of the DIC community.

Notable companies like Sony Ericsson have recognized DIC's potential and established their presence. The guarantee of a thriving ecosystem and the availability of quality office spaces make DIC an attractive choice for businesses looking to expand their operations.

The flexibility to rent office spaces within DIC offers convenience to companies, allowing them to adjust their operations based on their needs and growth. The diverse range of facilities and amenities caters to various industry sectors, ensuring that every applicant can find the right space for their business.

The favorable taxation policies and incentives in DIC make it an attractive destination for companies looking to establish a regional presence. The ease of doing business and the support provided by DIC's administration contribute to a conducive environment for growth and success.

As visitors enter DIC, they are greeted by a welcoming entrance setting the tone for the vibrant atmosphere. The comprehensive information on DIC's website serves as a valuable resource for businesses and individuals interested in learning more about the offerings and opportunities within DIC.

FAQ

  • 1.

    Is Dubai Internet City a free zone?

    Dubai Internet City is a designated free zone in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. As a free zone, DIC offers various incentives and benefits to companies, including 100% foreign ownership, tax exemptions, and simplified business setup processes.

  • 2.

    Which line is Dubai Internet City Metro Station?

    Dubai Internet City Metro Station is located on the Red Line of the Dubai Metro. The Red Line is one of the two main lines of the Dubai Metro system and connects major areas of Dubai, including important business districts and tourist attractions.

  • 3.

    How many companies are in Dubai Internet City?

    Dubai Internet City (DIC) is home to a thriving community of over 1600 companies. These companies represent diverse industries, including information technology, telecommunications, and media.

  • 4.

    How can companies benefit from setting up their operations in DIC?

    Setting up operations in DIC offers several benefits to companies. Firstly, DIC provides access to a network of industry leaders, innovators, and professionals, facilitating collaboration and business opportunities. Additionally, companies in DIC can leverage the state-of-the-art infrastructure, modern facilities, and advanced telecommunications services available, which enhance productivity and efficiency. DIC's favorable economic rules, such as tax incentives, also contribute to a business-friendly environment.

  • 5.

    Can startups and small businesses find suitable opportunities in DIC?

    Yes, DIC welcomes startups and small businesses. DIC has specific initiatives and programs to support entrepreneurship and nurture startup culture. These include mentorship programs, incubators, and networking events tailored to the needs of startups. Additionally, DIC offers flexible office spaces and various facilities to accommodate businesses of different sizes and budgets, providing opportunities for growth and success.

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Creation date:
Update date: 05/06/2024