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Dubai CommerCity launches eCommerce academy with AstroLabs


Dubai CommerCity the first and leading e-commerce free zone in the region and AstroLabs, a capability building company committed to strengthening the digital ecosystem of the MENA region, have partnered to launch a dedicated eCommerce academy.

The Dubai CommerCity academy will provide a range of key offerings, including training boot camps, webinars, coding hackathons, online courses and internship opportunities with e-commerce companies at Dubai CommerCity. The platform aims to enhance the techno-functional skills of individuals within the e-commerce space and improve the e-commerce talent pool of the UAE.

Commenting on the partnership, DeVere Forster, Chief Operating Officer (COO) at Dubai CommerCity, said, “This partnership is an important development for Dubai CommerCity and aligns with our continued efforts to enhance the e-commerce talent pool in the UAE and improve the availability of skilled resources in the emirate’s job market.

“We are pleased to join hands with AstroLabs who will support us in our efforts to transform the UAE into a global hub for e-commerce and reduce the UAE’s dependency on global resources.”

To mark the partnership, Dubai CommerCity hosted a panel discussion featuring DeVere Forster, COO of Dubai CommerCity; Danielle Blizzard, Director of AstroLabs Talent; and Marius Clavola, CEO of Tradeling. Together the established panellists offered their expertise and insights on the current skills gap witnessed in the e-commerce sector and MENA region.

DeVere Forster stated that despite the advances witnessed in the sector over the last five years, the pool of talent in the e-commerce space remains very shallow. There is currently a huge demand for generalist e-commerce individuals, who hold the extensive experience required to accelerate the e-commerce sector. The implementation of platforms such as AstroLab’s represents a tremendous opportunity to bridge the current skills gap and deepen the talent pool.

While expressing her view, Danielle Blizzard commented that the skills gap in the current market has resulted in businesses struggling to diversify their teams. According to her, the sectors with the highest gap in talent currently are the technology, product, sales and marketing sectors.

Marius Clavola identified the rapid growth of the e-commerce space as is the main contributor to the gap in talent and skills. The demand facing the sector is far outweighing the supply available. To compete with this growth of e-commerce there must be greater benefits, packages and flexibility offered within that area to enhance the sector’s attractiveness.

The session also addressed the necessary factors for attracting top-rated talent, the need to strike the correct balance for building internal and external talent and advice for international businesses who wish to successfully enter the Dubai market.