KOM Omzest PactTimes News Service, Tuesday, October 27, 2009 7:53:48 PM Oman Time

MUSCAT ? Riyam Computer Services, part of the Omar Zawawi Establishment Group (OMZEST), has signed a lease agreement to develop a information, communication and technology (ICT) hub inside Knowledge Oasis Muscat (KOM), senior officials said here yesterday.

The hub, which would bring all ICT companies of OMZEST together, would be set up at an investment of RO 10 million and the construction is expected to start next year, Manoj Shah, chief operating officer, Riyam Computers said.

The development is expected to help strengthen the Omani economy and promote KOM as a premier knowledge destination in the region, Riyam said in a statement.

Founded in 1983, Riyam has been focusing on systems integration, business process re-engineering, conducting IT strategy studies for large companies, disaster recovery support, among other services.

Leased land

The firm has leased about 4,000 square metres of land for 25 years and the project is expected to start in the next 12-15 months, KOM?s director general, Mohamed Hamed Al Maskari said.

KOM is trying to establish itself as a one-stop place and an enabler for ICT companies as part of the government?s Oman 2020 initiative, which mandated more focus on technology and knowledge-based industries instead of oil and gas.

Since its inception in 2003, KOM already houses units of firms such as Oman Air, Qatar Airways, NCR, Huawei Technologies, Oracle, NCR Corporation, Microsoft and Motorola, among others, Maskari said adding about 56 per cent of the total employees working inside KOM are Omanis. The compound also has two colleges with a capacity to educate 4,000 students and KOM is also developing an entrepreneurial culture, he said.

?Its an effort to connect the intelligentsia with the academia?, he said.

It has started a programme called ?The Knowledge Mind?, through which it fosters and incubates innovative entrepreneurial ideas for the first three years of its inception, the official said. It has tied up with various institutions for funding those entrepreneurs.

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