Dubai CommerCity launches e-commerce academy with AstroLabs
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Dubai CommerCity launches e-commerce academy with AstroLabs

Dubai CommerCity launches e-commerce academy with AstroLabs

The platform intends to increase the UAE’s e-commerce talent pool by enhancing individuals’ techno-functional abilities in the same field


Dubai CommerCity, the first e-commerce free zone in the region and AstroLabs, a capability building company, have partnered to launch a dedicated e-commerce academy.

The Dubai CommerCity academy will provide various services such as training boot camps, webinars, coding hackathons, online courses, and internship chances with e-commerce enterprises. The platform intends to increase the UAE’s e-commerce talent pool by enhancing individuals’ techno-functional abilities in the e-commerce area, a statement said.

Commenting on the partnership, DeVere Forster, chief operating officer at Dubai CommerCity, said, “This partnership is an important development for Dubai CommerCity and aligns with our continued efforts to enhance the e-commerce talent pool in the UAE and improve the availability of skilled resources in the emirate’s job market. We are pleased to join hands with AstroLabs who will support us in our efforts to transform the UAE into a global hub for e-commerce and reduce the UAE’s dependency on global resources.”

Roland Daher, chief executive officer of AstroLabs, said: “Throughout the years, we have trained over 10,000 people and tens of companies in digital marketing, e-commerce, data, and coding. We are committed to creating a platform that will boost the skill development in the digital and e-commerce sector, attract and grow new talent, and contribute to Dubai’s vision of becoming the digital capital of the MENA region.”

To mark the partnership, Dubai CommerCity hosted a panel discussion featuring Forster, Danielle Blizzard, director of AstroLabs Talent, and Marius Ciavola, CEO of Tradeling.

Despite the sector’s progress over the previous five years, Forster claims that the talent pool in the e-commerce field is still relatively shallow. There is a huge demand for generalist e-commerce professionals with vast expertise who can help the e-commerce business grow.

Blizzard expressed her opinion by stating that the present market’s skills gap has caused organisations to struggle to diversify their personnel. According to her, technology, product, sales, and marketing sectors have the largest skill gap.

Meanwhile, Ciavola identified the rapid growth of the e-commerce space as is the main contributor to the gap in talent and skills. The demand facing the sector is far outweighing the supply available. To compete with this growth of e-commerce, more significant benefits, packages, and flexibility must be offered within that area to enhance the sector’s attractiveness.

The session also addressed the necessary factors for attracting top-rated talent, the need to strike the correct balance for building internal and external talent, and advice for international businesses who wish to enter the Dubai market successfully.

Dubai CommerCity is part of the Dubai Integrated Economic Zones Authority (DIEZ), established in 2021 to oversee and support the operations of several free zones, including Dubai Airport Free Zone (DAFZ), Dubai Silicon Oasis and Dubai CommerCity. With an area covering 2.1 million square feet and an investment of around $1bn, it is uniquely designed to support new and existing e-commerce businesses across the MENA region.

Meanwhile, AstroLabs has been developing the digital ecosystem in the Middle East since 2013 through its capability-building academy, a network of collaborative co-working communities, and company establishment services in both the UAE and Saudi Arabia, helping set up 400+ companies from around the world in these two key markets.

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