Arabnet launches knowledge and meeting day for Developers

Press release
Published March 22nd, 2011 - 02:20 GMT
Google to launch paid apps soon and highest rate for video usage recorded in Saudi Arabia
Google to launch paid apps soon and highest rate for video usage recorded in Saudi Arabia

Arabnet Digital Summit kicked off today, Tuesday March 22 at Habtoor Hotel in Beirut.

On its first day, Arabnet gathered developers from around the Arab world for a ‘Developers Day.’

Founder of Arabnet Omar Christidis, started the day by welcoming the massive crowd of developers, and said 974 people have registered for the conference, out of which 150 registered Monday night.

“Arabnet is a forum for executives to meet and a platform for entrepreneurs to launch their ideas,” he added.
Developers Day, according to Christidis, is a day when different developing companies come under one roof to meet people from different companies like yahoo, Microsoft, and others, and discuss a range of different subjects.

"We feel that developers are building the web, we want to make sure that you have the knowledge of cutting edge trends and that you are connected to the people in business," he said.

The first panel on ‘Mobile Platforms,’ discussed the market, apps, developers and opportunities in the MENA region.

Gilles Fayad, Director of VAS, Middle East and Africa, Qualcomm, said the infrastructure for mobile platforms is improving; however, the progress was not homogeneous across the region.

He added that the search for data plans in the region has increased by 200% lately.

According to Gilles, Saudi Arabia has highest usage of video usage, and is the number one broadband community in the Arab world, highlighting the importance of Facebook, twitter and YouTube in making this growth happen.

“Social networking is our DNA," he pointed out.

Rob Janas, VP and Managaing Director, Europe and Middle East, InMobi, said the Middle East has achieved 25 % growth in mobile smart phones usage in February.

He described the situation in the MENA as changing as people are buying applications more. He also highlighted the importance of Arabic content in apps and said that in Egypt and KSA, 70% and 80% of searches are made in Arabic.

Ghassan Chahine, DPE Lead, Lebanon and NEPA – IM, Microsoft said his company has sold 2 million devices in 2 months and is working with 30 thousand developers in the market and has produced 10,000 applications until now.

He added that this company has launched to support developers in the MENA who do not have access to the market place. They just have to submit their windows app, he said

William, Kanaan, New Business Development Manager, MENA, Google, said his company was committed to the MENA region and that that android has already launched free apps in the Middle East. Kanaan added that paid apps for the Middle East were coming soon, without specifying a time frame.

“You don’t need to follow, you can lead,” Qualcomm director told the developers, “we don’t want to be ‘me too,’ just have the user experience, and seek opportunities.”

On Amazon’s new application, Fayad advised developers to take advantage of the opportunity and said Amazon sold e-books in 3 months more than they ever sold hard covers in 15 years. 

Background Information


ArabNet is a leading events, insights and innovation programs focused on tech business and innovation in the MENA region.

We organize major conferences for the tech sector in Dubai, Riyadh, Kuwait and Beirut; publish news and analysis of the sector in our online news portal and produce original research and reports focused on the sector; and organize custom-tailored innovation programs for corporates and governments.


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