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(MENAFN Press) DUBAI, United Arab Emirates

6 November 2012

His Highness Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority (DSOA), today officially inaugurated SAP's Training and Development Institute at Dubai Silicon Oasis (DSO), the integrated free zone technology park.

The ceremony was attended by Dr. Mohammed Al Zarooni, Vice-Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, DSOA; Shahla Abdul Razak, Deputy CEO of DSOA; Dr Werner Brandt, SAP Chief Financial Officer and Executive Board Member; and Sam Alkharrat, SAP MENA Managing Director.

MaritaMitschein, Senior Vice-President Strategic Investments, SAP AG, and newly appointed Managing Director of the Training and Development Institute were also present.

A collaboration between SAP MENA, a subsidiary of SAP AG (NYSE: SAP) and DSOA, the venture is designed to serve the entire Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region through training and certifying SAP consultants, driving partner and customer co-innovation, and enhancing the localised SAP portfolio of solutions.

Set up within a short time since its announcement in March, 20 developers, language experts and product managershave taken up residence at the Training and Development Institute, with notable results including the localisation of SAP's Human Capital Management (HCM), Financials (FIN) and Fund Management solutions for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia's public sector, as well as HCM and FIN solutions for Qatar's private sector to further complete SAP's broad local offerings.SAP is moving forward with plans toestablish additional Training Institutes across the region.

Following the inauguration ceremony, H.H Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed witnessed a live Arabic demonstration of the SAP Customer Financial Fact Sheet, a mobile application that allows enterprises to stay up-to-date on the orders and financial status of their customers anywhere, anytime.

H.H Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed said:"The Training and Development Institute serves as a vital investment to up-skill local talent and drive sustainable innovation and growth across the region. While today represents the official inauguration of the UAE's first IT-specific education and development entity, we can notice the significant progress registered in building operational processes and concrete IT solutions that address country-specific needs. The importance of IT in shaping the MENA region's future cannot be underestimated and we are proud to partner with SAP to harness its potential in such an effective way."

The Training and Development Institute aims to certify 2,000 new SAP consultants within the next four years, tripling the company's existing consulting capabilities in the region, as well as accelerating and extending the localization and Arabization of SAP solutions to meet fast-growing regional industry needs.

"SAP's Training and Development Institute at DSO forms a key part of our growth strategy in the Middle East and North Africa," said Brandt.

"Thanks to the support of His Highness and DSOA, we have created a powerful and progressive institution to shape the region's IT future through co-innovating with partners, customers and independent software vendors. Fields we focus on are mobility, in-memory computing, cloud, urban management and smart city functionalities. We now have the basis and momentum to extend the concept and create local branches of the Training and Development Institute in other parts of the region such as Saudi Arabia."

A key aspect of SAP's Training and Development Institute is its strong link with the SAP University Alliances program, which currently provides hands-on experience of key SAP technologies at 28institutions across MENA - a figure set to double in the next four years - and the potential for collaborative participation in a network of global universities and research communities.

The Training and Development Institute forms part of SAP's growth plan across the MENA region. Customers and Partners will continue to benefit from the SAP MENA Education and Training offerings, as well have the opportunity to collaborate with the Institute to further educate local talent to meet market demand.

H.H. Sheikh Ahmed and Dr. Zarooni and Dr Werner and Sam Alkharrat during the opening ceremony.

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