Monday, September 10, 2007

KOM Spreads the Word at GITEX

A multi-million Rial expansion has recently opened on Knowledge Oasis Muscat (KOM), the Rusayl-based technology park. According to Mohammed Al Maskari, KOM’s Director General: “The RO3.8 million (US$10.4 million) expansion program provides an additional 10,000 square metres of office accommodation to support established and developing hi-tech businesses. Amongst a number of new tenants from Europe and the Middle East, the Park’s recently opened office space is home to Microsoft, Motorola, Qatar Airways and the Information Technology Authority (ITA).”

Announcing this next step in the development of KOM Al Maskari said: “There is a fantastic spirit of entrepreneurship and inspiration running through KOM. This has helped establish the Park and the wider Rusayl area as a centre of excellence for knowledge-based industries and a great place for innovative businesses to develop and thrive. However, it is vital that we keep that momentum going and continue to offer the facilities and support systems that allow our tenants be creative and thrive.”

The Rusayl area is fast becoming an area of growth for knowledge-based companies, many of which are in information communication technology (ICT) and manufacturing, clustering around KOM, PEIE’s Rusayl Industrial Estate, Sultan Qaboos University and the university’s teaching hospital.

Ibtisam Al Faruji, KOM’s Head of Marketing said: “The Park’s new office facilities will bring together science, industry and education in an environment conducive to innovation and entrepreneurship. We’re thrilled with the response from local as well as international firms to take up residency on KOM. ”

In an effort to reach a broader international audience and spread news of KOM’s continued expansion, the Park’s management will participate this week at GITEX - the region’s largest annual ICT trade exhibition.

But what does KOM want to achieve from its GITEX participation? “The obvious answer is our stand crammed with potential tenants, but more realistically it’s about maintaining momentum and quality face time with interested parties. Our main purpose is to meet potential tenants and demonstrate how KOM can meet their varied commercial needs,” says Al Faruji.

Given the sharp increase in the number of firms based on KOM and the additional office space that has come on line, Al Faruji believes the park has a strong and engaging message to deliver. In addition to a growing tenant base, KOM is also behind a number of high-profile ICT initiatives. For example, the TKM – Ernst & Young Big Business Idea Competition, a national business plan event aimed at raising awareness of the start-up culture amongst Oman’s youth. The Park’s quarterly Digital Nation seminars are well-attended networking events that help KOM tenants raise their profiles. “When you have multinationals like Ericssson, Microsoft, Hewlett Packard and Cisco backing your marketing initiatives then you know you’re on the right track,” commented KOM’s Head of Marketing. The Park’s annual eGames conference is another regional first, “we’re the only tech park in the Gulf that’s looking at mobile and serious gaming and their applications to areas such as education, tourism, heritage, the environment as well as oil and gas. There’s a tremendous amount of energy on KOM and we need to spread news of that at GITEX,” remarked Al Faruji.

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