Dubai Internet City, Middle East's biggest information and communications technology cluster built inside a free trade zone, is seriously considering setting up a Smart City in Hyderabad.
"We have already held discussions with the state government officials, and are currently exploring the feasibility of opening a Smart City in Hyderabad. The Andhra Pradesh government is in the early stages of evaluation with regard to land allocation and other benefits. Both DIC and the government are working very closely in making the project a reality, and we expect the deal to be finalised soon," Kevin D Nealy, brand manager (central marketing department), Dubai Internet City, told Business Standard.
The proposed Smart City in Hyderabad will have companies that are into development of software products, business and online services, consultancy etc, on the lines of the Smart City in Kochi, he added, while declining to spell any numbers with regard to land allocation and investments.
However, a DIC official said that the Andhra Pradesh government was likely to allot land to DIC in the vicinity of the Hitec City.
"Hyderabad is one of the fastest growing cities in India with easy access to regional markets and a cosmopolitan environment, pro-business attitude with a consistently strong economic outlook. These factors, combined with a prime location and a safe working environment, are just a small selection of the reasons why we are zeroing in on Hyderabad," Nealy said.
On the Rs 15-billion Smart City project in Kochi, Nealy said the company had already completed the construction work on four phases, and the work on phase-5 was expected to start in a couple of months.
"DIC had also held preliminary discussions with the governments of Karnataka and West Bengal to set up similar Smart Cities in Bangalore and Kolkata," he said.DIC currently operates an ICT cluster of 21 buildings in Dubai, accommodating over 900 companies. These include IBM, Microsoft, Sony Erricson, Nokia, SAP, Dell and Canon, and Indian IT majors like Wipro, Satyam and 3i Infotech.