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Skype to open office in Manama

Company says Bahraini capital is a “gateway to the Gulf.”

June 28, 2010 5:27 by

Skype announced today it would open offices in the Bahraini capital of Manama, Business Maktoob reported Monday. The company hopes to target MENA internet users despite the banning of voice over internet telephony in several regional countries. including the UAE and Kuwait.

Skype noted Bahrain’s geographical location as a “gateway to the Gulf,” adding that the company had chosen Manama as the “ideal location from which to support our global strategy of making Skype available to as many people as possible wherever they happen to be,” Business Maktoob reported, quoting Skype CEO Josh Silverman.

The company also cited Bahrain’s advanced ICT infrastructure and skilled local labor force, in the decision.

“The Middle East and Africa has a young, tech savvy population and we believe that Bahrain will play a central role in making Skype even more popular in the region,” Silverman added.

Internet telephony is illegal in the UAE, Kuwait, and Syria, and Lebanon announced earlier this month it would consider greater enforcement of a law banning internet based phone calls.

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