Google’s technology event g|saudi arabia 2.0 is back to Jeddah
As part of an ongoing drive to support the growth of local talent, Google kicked off its technology event, g|saudi arabia, in association with the King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) and its technology incubator program BADIR.
With a significant increase in registrations from last year, the event brought together software developers, webmasters, IT & business professionals, tech entrepreneurs, and university students for two days of training and workshops around the future of innovation in the Kingdom, and how Google’s suite of products is a major driving force behind that innovation.
Abdulrahman Tarabzouni, Head of Emerging Arabia at Google said “The internet has created million of jobs around the world some of which are here in the Kingdom; but there is a lot more potential. Google believes there is a huge opportunity for every Saudi to start or transform their business on the web to reach rapid growth levels that were not possible in the past. With our technology event g|saudi arabia, we reinforce our commitment to fostering and empowering the Saudi talent and contributing to the growth of the economy.”
In response to the unprecedented popularity of YouTube in the Kingdom which has shown a 260% rise in views over the last year, Google is holding a special session during g|saudi arabia to discuss the magical opportunities on the popular online video platform with local stars including Fahad AlButairi, Omar Hussein, Malik Nejer, and Kaswara Al-Khatib.
This year g|saudi arabia also brings Nelson Mattos, VP, EMEA Product & Engineering, and Ammar Ibrahim, Product Manager, for Middle East North Africa in addition to a team of more than 45 Googlers who flew in from across the world to give a range of sessions on specialized products and subjects.
Mattos commented “Google wants the web to be a better place and aims to help increase and improve the quality of the content that is locally relevant to Saudis. We know we can’t do this on our own and that why we are back with g|saudi arabia, Google’s biggest event of the year to actively engage with the Kingdom’s tech community who will be building the next-generation of web applications.”
Day one sessions included several tracks on Google’s developer tools and technologies related to both web and mobile applications. Google engineers and web-development experts guided attendees through a full day of in-depth sessions, including hands-on workshops, dedicated to cutting-edge web and mobile technologies. Topics included mobile development, Google+, Google APIs, Google Translate & Translator Toolkit, Chrome, and Webmaster tools.
Day two offered sessions and workshops with product demos aimed at entrepreneurs, business professionals and university students. The goal is to help spur innovation and business growth in Saudi Arabia and across the region, inspiring businesses to make the most of the web and mobile. Sessions included innovation at Google, AdWords and AdSense.
Day two also included a panel session on Entrepreneurship & Innovation with the participation of renowned entrepreneurs both from the region and Silicon Valley, to share their experiences and success stories with the participants. Speakers include Barig Siraj, CEO ICTVentures, Saad Khan, Partner, CMEA and Oleg Kaganovich, Director of New Ventures, KAUST.
Google has been active in Saudi Arabia both through outreach activities and local product launches. Just last week, Google held Arabia 2012 day in Riyadh gathering more than 120 senior government and business leaders from the Kingdom. Also last year more than 50 students applied to become Google Student Ambassadors from universities throughout Saudi Arabia representing Google on campus to host events, share knowledge and invigorate the academic community. On the product front, Google launched many local versions including Google Maps, driving directions, Arabic voice search and YouTube.
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