Sharjah’s Research Park and Oasis Unite to Forge a New Era of Business and Entrepreneurship
Mokshita P.
10x Industry

Sharjah’s Research Park and Oasis Unite to Forge a New Era of Business and Entrepreneurship

The two entities will merge to form an independent Sharjah Research, Technology and Innovation Park Free Zone Authority. The move aims to boost the UAE's knowledge economy and entrepreneurial status. The new Board of Directors, led by Sheikha Bodour Al Qasimi, will oversee the authority’s operations and strategic goals, further establishing Sharjah as a global destination for business and innovation.

In a significant move aimed at strengthening the United Arab Emirates' (UAE) knowledge economy and entrepreneurial landscape, the Sharjah Research Technology and Innovation Park (SRTIP) and Sharjah Oasis for Technology and Innovation (SOTI) are set to merge. Under the terms of the merger, SRTIP will absorb SOTI, pooling their resources and expertise to establish an independent Free Zone Authority (FZA). Consequently, the structure of SRTIP will undergo changes to reflect the new FZA's form and function.

The Chairperson and President of SRTIP, Sheikha Bodour Al Qasimi, believes that this amalgamation will solidify the UAE's position as a global destination for business and entrepreneurship while unlocking the immense potential of Sharjah's technology and innovation sector. Expressing her excitement about the development, Sheikha Bodour stated that merging SRTIP and SOTI and formalising SRTIP's role as an independent Free Zone Authority will enable greater strides in supporting the entrepreneurship ecosystem and developing Sharjah's knowledge economy.

Since its establishment in 2016 under Emiri decree by the Ruler of Sharjah, H.H. Sheikh Dr Sultan Bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, SRTIP has operated as a collaboration between industry, government, and academia, with oversight from the American University of Sharjah (AUS) Enterprise Program. However, AUS's oversight will be replaced by an independent Board of Directors, led by Sheikha Bodour. This new board will manage and represent the newly formed Sharjah Research, Technology and Innovation Park Free Zone Authority.

The new Board of Directors comprises industry leaders and seasoned entrepreneurs with the relevant knowledge and experience to guide SRTIP's future mission. Among the esteemed members are Prince Khaled bin Waleed bin Talal, Founding Chairman of KBW Investments; Sheikh Dr. Majid Al Qassimi, Founding Partner of Soma Mater; Dr. Abdelaziz Saeed Obaid Bin Butti Almheiri, Chairman of the Sharjah Health Authority and Sharjah Healthcare City Authority; Adel Abdullah Ali, CEO of Air Arabia Group; Ahmed Al Qaseer, CEO of Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq); Najla Al Midfa, CEO of Sharjah Entrepreneurship Center (Sheraa); Khaled Al Huraimel, CEO of BEEAH Group; Dr. Aisha Bint Butti Bin Bishr, Vice Chairman of Emaar Development; Alisha Moopen, Deputy Managing Director of Aster DM Healthcare; Abdulaziz Loughani, CEO of Floward; Faizal Kottikollon, Founder and Chairman of KEF Holdings; Samer Sayegh, Managing Director of National Paints Factories Co. Ltd.; and Mudassir Sheikha, Co-Founder and CEO of Careem.

Najla Al-Midfa felt incredibly honoured to join an exceptional league of leaders, dedicated to driving entrepreneurship and innovation in Sharjah. She added, "My deepest gratitude to HH Sheikh Dr Sultan Bin Mohammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, for the opportunity to serve on the Board of Directors of Sharjah Research, Technology and Innovation Park. My heartfelt appreciation also goes to Sheikha Bodour Al Qasimi, Chairperson of SRTIP, whose visionary leadership and guidance will undoubtedly strengthen Sharjah’s position as a thriving destination for business, entrepreneurship, and innovation."

Under the guidance of AUS, SRTIP has successfully enhanced Sharjah's reputation as a technology sector innovator. Over 2,000 companies specialising in advanced innovative technologies have thrived in SRTIP's dynamic business environment, investing over $100 million in research. The time is now ripe to propel Sharjah's status as a leading global hub for innovation, business, and entrepreneurship. The establishment of a diverse and experienced Board of Directors is a crucial step towards achieving this vision.

To ensure a smooth leadership transition, senior officials from the University of Sharjah, AUS, and SRTIP have also been invited to join the new Board of Directors.

The Board members, who will serve a four-year term, will work together to establish a clear vision for the organisation's long-term growth. They will oversee SRTIP's day-to-day operations, align its strategic goals with the expectations of stakeholders, enhance its global credibility, develop marketing outreach and partnerships, and ensure its long-term sustainability.

With the merger of SRTIP and SOTI, Sharjah is poised to achieve greater heights in technological innovation, solidifying its position as a global destination for entrepreneurship and reinforcing the UAE's knowledge economy.