His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority (DSOA), laid the foundation stone of the new campus of Rochester Institute of Technology – Dubai (RIT Dubai), a satellite campus of RIT New York, at Dubai Silicon Oasis (DSO). The symbolic act marked the commencement of the construction works on the AED500 million project.
His Highness said: “Under the guidance of its wise leadership, Dubai has become a global role model for investing in innovation-based education that is capable of preparing young people for future careers, motivating them to think creatively, and enabling them to leverage current trends to accurately anticipate future opportunities and challenges to identify the most effective solutions.”
He added: “The collaboration between DSOA and RIT, provides students with a technology-based curriculum that is key to their development and meets the needs of the future job market. In addition, it enhances the global reputation of DSO as a conducive environment for stimulating innovation, developing technical industries, and keeping pace with the rapid advancements that have become the drivers of performance across diverse sectors.”
In closing, he said: “This partnership aligns with the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, announced in the Fifty-Year Charter in early 2019, to create new methods of qualifying students, developing their abilities, and preparing them for the future, enabling Dubai to lead in key sectors that have the biggest impact on people’s lives.”
Phase one of the project, set to span 30,000 square meters, is scheduled for completion by Q1 2020 at an estimated cost of AED200 million. Meanwhile, phase two is slated for handover in 2023 at a projected cost of AED300 million, adding 116,000 square meters to the campus.
Dr Mohammed Al Zarooni, Vice Chairman and CEO of DSOA, said: “Supporting the education sector in teaching the future workforce how to create and innovate is an important goal for DSOA, an entity that works to sustainably attract the right talent and enhance Dubai's status as one of the leading innovation incubators worldwide.”
He added: “Our partnership with RIT seeks to help achieve Dubai government’s vision of connecting education to innovation and investing in youth to build a better future.”
For his part, Dr David Munson, President of RIT New York, said: “We are so proud of our business relation with Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority that goes back to 2008. We are also grateful for giving us the opportunity to contribute to building the human talents in specific areas. Dubai is a very dynamic and rich city with massive experience, and we look forward to jointly enrich our experiences thorough research & development, students & faculty exchange programs and many more. Having the new campus will give us a mechanism where it will be a place where researchers from all over the place within Dubai can meet together and focus on innovation projects that support making Dubai a smarter city, and also enrich our relations in the future and make it more sustainable.”
Dr Yousef Al-Assaf, President of RIT Dubai, said: “The commencement of the construction works on RIT Dubai’s campus is a significant milestone on its journey as one of the premier academic institutions for technical education. Our new DSO campus will go a long way in equipping new generations of students with the tools to succeed in the future job market.”
With the capacity to accommodate 4,000 students, the new campus will comply with the latest sustainability, smart city, and connectivity standards. Factoring in modern educational requirements, the state-of-the-art academic complex will link students to the community and house five colleges – Electrical Engineering and Computing, Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, Business Administration, Sciences, and Humanities.
The world-class campus will feature a central courtyard, a landscaped residential area, an innovation and entrepreneurship center, an interactive education center, a theater, and a library, in addition to food courts and dedicated spaces for extracurricular activities. It will also feature comprehensive sports facilities, including football fields, basketball courts, tennis courts, and cricket fields.