RIYADH: Impressed with that new app on your iPhone? Soon, the chances are it will have been designed and created in Saudi Arabia.
Tech giant Apple has chosen Riyadh as the home for its latest Developer Academy, where young entrepreneurs produce innovative software for the iOS operating system that powers its phones and tablets.
The new academy, Apple’s first in the Middle East, will be a partnership with the Saudi Federation for Cyber Security, Programming and Drones, represented by Tuwaiq Academy, and Princess Nourah bint Abdulrahman University, the world’s largest women’s university.
Federation chairman Faisal Al-Khamisi said the new academy would provide tools and training for aspiring female entrepreneurs, developers and designers to establish start-up companies and find jobs in the field of iOS applications. The focus tracks would include programming, business applications, marketing, design, and professional skills, he said.
“In our partnership with Apple, we will work together and strive to create an economic ecosystem for business to instill skills that enhance innovation and technology, and ensure a sustainable and prosperous future for our local community and the societies of the world that will undoubtedly benefit.”
The Minister of Communications and Information Technology, Abdullah Al-Sawaha, said the new academy was “an investment in the digital minds and skills of our girls … building the innovative future of the nation and the transformation toward an economy based on innovation and digital transformation.”
Apple opened its first iOS Developer Academy in October 2016, at the University of Naples Federico II in Italy. It now has campuses in the US, Brazil, South Korea, and Indonesia. Academy entrepreneurs have created more than 1,500 apps for iOS, and established more than 160 startup companies.
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