Abu Dhabi to start SME training programme with Amazon subsidiary

They will work with small businesses to analyse gaps in cloud computing skills and help them stay ahead in the digital economy

The training programme will equip Abu Dhabi-based SMEs with in-demand cloud skills to help accelerate the digital transformation of their organisations. Photo: Khushnum Bhandari/ The National
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The Abu Dhabi Investment Office and Amazon Web Services have teamed up to launch a cloud computing programme to train, certify and teach additional skills to small and medium-sized enterprises in the emirate.

It will equip SMEs with in-demand cloud skills to help accelerate their digital transformation, the office said in a statement on Tuesday.

“Cloud technology is a launch pad for companies of all sizes to thrive in the digital economy, generating significant competitive advantages, cost savings and efficiencies that can rapidly propel a business upwards,” said Mohammed Al Shorafa, chairman of Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development and chairman of the Khalifa Fund.

“With training programmes from AWS and certification, we are equipping businesses with the latest tools and skills to successfully leverage the benefits of the cloud and create lasting transformation in their organisations,” he added.

SMEs account for 98 per cent of all companies in Abu Dhabi, making them a key pillar of the emirate’s economy and diversification strategy. In 2019, SMEs in the capital accounted for 29 per cent of gross domestic product and 44 per cent of the non-oil economy, according to the Abu Dhabi Chamber.

The investment office and AWS will work with Abu Dhabi government bodies that focus on helping SMEs, such as the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development and Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development, to reach the programme’s target audience, the statement added.

The training programme has been designed to help SMEs stay ahead in the digital economy, according to the office.

Training partners authorised by AWS will work with programme participants to analyse skills gaps, create a customised learning experience and come up with a cloud training strategy. Participants will also gain access to digital on-demand AWS training content, pre-and post-programme assessments and monthly reporting, the statement added.

The curriculum will be offered to eligible SMEs in Abu Dhabi at a discounted rate of 50 per cent, the office said.

“Organisations need individuals with cloud skills to help transform their business and there is a growing demand for IT professionals with AWS cloud skills,” said Vinod Krishnan, head of Middle East and North Africa at AWS.

The training programme builds on the existing relationship between the office and AWS, and focuses on boosting the digital economy in Abu Dhabi.

AWS recently announced that it will expand its cloud infrastructure in the UAE by bringing new infrastructure to the country in the first half of 2022.

The investment office is the government entity responsible for attracting and facilitating investment in Abu Dhabi. It teamed up with Microsoft and Plug and Play earlier this year to roll out initiatives aimed at supporting technology start-ups. Through these partnerships, it will provide strategic funding for key projects that support growth-driven companies.

Global tech ecosystem Hub71 also joined forces with the office in June to help early-stage tech start-ups grow through fresh investment.

Similarly, the Khalifa Fund and Amazon teamed up last year to back SMEs in Abu Dhabi. Under a free online education programme called e-Empower, the US e-commerce company offered a 10-week training course to thousands of SMEs in Abu Dhabi that wished to start a new online business or expand an existing platform.

Updated: October 12, 2021, 12:44 PM