IBM is among 50 leading companies in detailed discussions with the Dubai free zone TechnoPark to set up a research and development centre, the National has reported. TechnoPark is the science and technology free zone owned by Economic Zones World, a unit of Dubai World, and is located near the Jebel Ali Port. The free zone is being built across 2,100 hectares of land and plans to house 60,000 permanent residents and employ more than 133,000 people. IBM, the world's largest computer-services company, is looking to expand its R&D operations across the world and Dubai is on its shortlist. The emirate is also the only Middle East city where IBM is considering building a new research laboratory, the newspaper reported.