US-based World Wide Technology (WWT) has announced plans to develop an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) R&D laboratory in Masdar City, Abu Dhabi.

The move is part of the company’s plans to expand operations in the Middle East and follows WWT’s recent partnership with the Cyber Security Council of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Government.

WWT is a technology solutions provider allowing organisations to create, develop and implement tech products for their clients using the company’s Advanced Technology Center (ATC). The ATC is a virtual ecosystem that provides hardware and software solutions through a series of physical labs and houses several international OEMs.

Omar Mir, president of WWT, commented: “We are committed to expanding our presence in the UAE and deepening our relationships with current and new customers, joining the UAE’s thriving tech community.

“We are aiming to make UAE a true international AI gateway for global markets. We want to replicate our proven model and drive more companies into the region by developing the world’s most dynamic Multi-OEM Technology R&D Lab.”

The UAE has been looking to bolster investment in the country as competition with regional peers threatens to take the crown away from its cities. Last week, Saudi Arabia launched an investment fund designed to attract billions of dollars into Neom, a planned urban area set to become the kingdom’s next financial hub.

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In July, Emirati officials opened a new investment ministry that will help devise new laws and initiatives to attract more foreign direct investment (FDI) in the country.

Speaking about WWT’s decision to invest in the UAE, Mohammed Hamad Al Kuwaiti, who heads the UAE Cyber Security Council, added: “We are thrilled to sign a memorandum of understanding with World Wide Technology, they are a key strategic partner who will enable acceleration of our strategy to protect the UAE and deliver excellence across cybersecurity and artificial intelligence (AI), accelerating the UAE as a leader of innovation showcasing a best-in-class approach to the rest of the world.”

A recent GlobalData survey found that cybersecurity and AI are viewed as being highly promising technologies.

The Thematic Intelligence: Tech Sentiment Polls Q3 2023 survey found cybersecurity to be viewed as the most likely to live up to its promise, with 71% (the highest figure among a group of seven of the most significant technologies) of 368 respondents across GlobalData’s network of business-to-business websites of the opinion that it will, while 53% have that view of AI.