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UAE to have its first batch of women e-commerce specialists by 2003

United Arab Emirates: Monday, December 23 - 2002 @ 12:08

In a bid to promote their major branch of study, the level five women e-commerce students organized an exhibition at the college on December 22, 2002 which included a panel discussion and a web design competition for an online college shop where student teams could create a web store linked to the Sharjah Women’s College portal. Eight groups of E-commerce and Business Information Technology students participated in a competition to have one of their web sites selected and launched on the day of the event.

Dubai e-Government, participated in the panel discussion to highlight existing opportunities for Emirati women in e-commerce, in order to underline the importance of information technology for business development and its potential to empower women.

“Emirati women are strengthening their emerging role in the professional and business sectors as they have started taking on additional responsibilities. E-Commerce will help the women to compete and win in an increasingly demanding marketplace because it means improved operations, decreased costs, increased sales and facilitated communication with customers, partners and employees,” said Salem Al Shair, Director e-Services, Dubai e-Government. “In order to survive and compete on a global level, the women of the UAE need to leverage their qualifications in the important sector of e-commerce and take advantage of new business opportunities and markets. Dubai e-Government has always supported and encouraged the role of Emirati women in the business arena and our participation in this panel discussion further highlights our commitment,” he added.

The panel, addressed by the industry and government representatives discussed crucial issues regarding the opportunities that exist for Emirati women in e-commerce and the challenges faced by them. The panelists included Marwan Al Naqi, Community Outreach Officer, Government Sector, Dubai e-Government; Marwan Al Zarouni, Web Developer Team Leader, Emirates Internet Association; Rashid Al Leem, Director General of Hamriyah Free Zone; Khalid Al Kaf, General Manager for Network Service and Chairman of the e-commerce and e-business committee of Etisalat and Paul Kurucz, Curriculum Leader for e-commerce program at the HCT.

“The globalization of the economy has opened up an exciting range of opportunities in e-commerce that can be exploited by women even from the confines of their home. The government of Dubai has capitalized on this to offer UAE women several opportunities in the areas of business, training, and financing,” said Al Naqi. “We need to encourage the women to come forward to avail of these opportunities so that they can get the maximum benefit from their education. By addressing key issues such as the challenges women graduates face in today’s e-commerce work environments, this panel aims to bring such concerns to the fore and work towards offering comprehensive solutions for them.”

“Dubai e-Government has set up several e-Services that enable e-commerce graduates to make full use of their potential. Women e-commerce graduates wishing to set up their own businesses do not need to go to a variety of government offices and stand in line for permits and licences. Most government websites can now be accessed through the Dubai e-Gov portal www.dubai.ae and the women can access and download information, download and fill forms and conduct payment transactions online without having to step out of their homes or interact with various officials,” said Al Naqi.

“In addition, Dubai e-Government also assists the women graduates to find placements within government organizations by applying through the centralized e-Job facility. This enables the graduates to post their CVs online into a centralized database and also allows an applicant to view the vacancies that have been posted by all participating government departments.”

Six educational institutes also participated in the panel discussion including the Sharjah University, American University of Sharjah and the Higher Colleges of Technology (HCT) from Abu Dhabi, Dubai, and Ras Al Khaimah.

“The global expansion of software and IT-enabled services has broadened the job prospects for women in this field making e-commerce a potential gold mine for women. The field is particularly ideal for Emirati women because they can make utilize their educational qualifications to the maximum without breaking any social barriers or offending cultural norms,” said Ged Ryan, Head of Career programs, Sharjah Women’s College. “The participation of Dubai e-Government in events such as this panel discussion plays an important role in encouraging Emirati women and supporting their efforts to become active players in the e-commerce world.”

“The panel discussion will help our students get a good understanding of the practical aspect of e-commerce. We hope to get more support and collaborations with other organizations and propose recommendations on more activities aimed at e-commerce and opportunities for women in the field,” he added.

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Monday, December 23- 2002 @ 12:08 UAE local time (GMT+4) Replication or redistribution in whole or in part is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Mediaquest FZ LLC.

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