Dubai could be a major exporter if ideas can become reality, Megha Merani reports…
A former Apple executive believes Dubai has built a brand as viable as the multi-billion-dollar tech giants he used to work for – but then challenged the emirate to make its impact felt globally.
Don Strickland, former vice president of imaging and publishing at Apple, said: “I think Dubai has done a great job on investing and importing but now it’s time for the city to create its own brands, its own companies and its own products.
There’s no reason why Dubai should not be producing the Googles and the Apples of the world. They have set up Dubai Internet City, Dubai Media City – big companies take up office space here – but where is the big winner that’s created a multi-billion-dollar company?”
Strickland, who serves as a professor of innovation and entrepreneurship at Imperial College London, spoke to 7DAYS at the UAE Chapter meeting of the Entrepreneur’s Organisation. He said the time has come for Dubai to export and suggested: “Don’t just have everybody else come here and set up. Don’t just make money from people that come to Dubai – take what Dubai sells to the rest of the world.”
Strickland said that Dubai should be courting entrepreneurs. However, he warned, that part of the challenge is recognising a true entrepreneur.
“The meaning of the word entrepreneur in Western Europe is to buy a chain of cleaners and run it better,” said Strickland.