Smart phones have opened new growth avenues and set new trends in e-reading narrowing the digital gap between Arabic and English content, according to senior management from TECOM Investments Media Cluster.
The comment came during the launch of Rufoof, a revolutionary Arabic bookstore application, conceptualised by Flagship Projects, a business partner of TECOM Investments’ Media Cluster.Rufoof was launched on the sidelines of the IP &TV Forum MENA 2011 at a media roundtable hosted by TECOM Investments at the Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Dubai. Senior management from TECOM Media Clusteras well as Flagship Projects attended the event.
Rufoofhas been designed as an online store providinga wide range of titles including books, articles and e-journals. Content can bedownloaded to enable access even when the device is offline. Bookmarking pages, search,a variety of font sizesandthe ability to change the colour of bookshelves at the online store are some of the features embedded in the application.
Mohammad Abdullah, Managing Director of TECOM Investments’ Media Cluster, said: “Rufoof is a fine example of the growth and proliferation of Arabic content. It is essential to develop and innovate on Arabic homegrown content for users in the region. Developers need to offer the right content and team up with platforms that have the potential to penetrate the market.
“The media cluster is committed to providing young entrepreneurs an environment that encourages innovation through fosteringthe incubation and realization ofinventive concepts.”
Rufoof offers a platform for publishing houses and content driven organisations in the Middle East to make their body of work in English and Arabic available to online users through the purchase of space. Content generators have the option to buy a premium package to publish their books and articles in a special section on Rufoof or simply post their books individually.
With Rufoof, authors and publishers are protected from piracydue to the high security features deployed by a team of software developers.
ShadiHasan, Managing Director, Rufoof, said: “E-books have gained popularity due to the increasing proliferation of the iPhone, iPad and smartphone devices in the region. Rufoof provides a new reading experience for Arabic content users. It is a world-class value-addedmobile application unique to the Arab world. The time is right for every publication house tocreatedigital versions of its content togainwider reach and easy accessibility, and Rufoof is delighted to lead by example.”
Flagship Projects, a leading developer of mobile applications in the Middle East, is poised to increase its share in the coming years.Through Rufoof, the application developer is showcasing its best expertise and the ability to develop creative professional content for the local and regional market.
TECOM Investments’ Media Cluster – Dubai Media City, Dubai Studio City and International Media Production Zone – offers business friendly regulatory frameworks and a state-of-the-art infrastructure. Its support of industry events comes as part of its long term objective to build a knowledge base for the benefit of stakeholders in the media sector.