Mobile Entertainment Forum (MEF), the global trade body of the mobile media industry, recently held its first regional gathering in Doha. 'MEF Connects Qatar' was attended by industry executives from across the region and provided a forum to reveal MEF's plans for accelerating the VAS industry in the Middle East.
Backed by the Qtel Group, the Qatar MEF office is responsible for facilitating regional membership, organising local events and supporting knowledge transfer via MEF initiatives. Its intent is to help create a self-sustainable hub for the growing MENA mobile media industry.
MEF's proposed roadmap, in collaboration with local partners, will provide the following:
Regional analytics to measure actual and potential growth;Trade development activities to drive exchange of information and commerce;Business-focused initiatives to present best practices across the region.
As a first step towards providing more regional data, event attendees received a bespoke report –in Arabic- on the popularity and pricing of App Store applications in key Middle East markets compared to the United States. The data, collated and analysed by MEF member Distimo, reveals a marked difference in the popularity of games applications: 56% of the most popular apps in the US are games compared to only 29% in the Middle East.
Dr Adnan Abu-Dayya, Executive Director of Qatar University Wireless and Innovation Center (QUWIC), said "As a leading regional platform for utilizing emerging wireless technologies in creating smart mobile solutions and applications targeting the region, QUWIC is excited to collaborate with MEF to promote and influence the development of innovative applications especially in relation to locally relevant mobile content and services."
Rimma Perelmuter, MEF Executive Director, added: "The inaugural "MEF Connects Qatar" event is an essential gathering for galvanising the community and gaining vital feedback from our members and partners on MEF's roadmap for the Middle East. MEF's Middle East office will create an influential community and platform for sharing knowledge, across our global profile of members, to foster mobile innovation and accelerate development of one of the world's fastest growing mobile VAS markets."
Earlier this year, a MEF Middle East office, co-founded with the Qtel Group, was launched at the Qatar Science & Technology Park (QSTP), as part of the Group's vision to create the first mobile innovation hub concept in the MENA region. The hub is meant to facilitate the establishment of a mobile ecosystem in the region, including the development of new mobile applications and solutions and harnessing the creation of localized mobile applications and content.