The Kingdom’s thought leaders gather at Google’s Event Arabia 2012 to discuss the power of the internet

Press release
Published March 25th, 2012 - 07:22 GMT

In association with Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA), Google held today its  thought leadership Arabia 2012 day in Riyadh gathering more than 120  top executives and government officials from the Kingdom. 

In his openning keynote speech, Mohammad Gawdat, Vice President of Emerging SEEMEA region, Google highlighted how the Internet has become a key economic, social and cultural net contributor to nations in the region. He said “Since its inception, Google has worked with countless entrepreneurs and businesses across the world which has allowed us to witness at first hand just how transformative the Internet can be. We’ve seen some incredible success stories right here in the Kingdom which make us realize how much untapped economic potential there is here and that’s why we’re here today.” 

Encouraging debate amongst the Kingdoms telecom operators, Google also invited key industry players to discuss the role of technology in scaling and fostering innovation and the future of the internet and its role in Saudi. The speakers included His Highness Prince Turki bin Saud Al-Saud, VP of KACST, Jameel Al Molhem, STC CEO, Barig Siraj CEO of ICT Ventures, Rashid Al-Balla CEO of N2V. 

Abdulrahman Tarabzouni, Head of Emerging Arabia at Google said “The Internet is creating a tremendous impact in Saudi Arabia on various economic, social and cultural levels. We are gathered here today to continue building meaningful relationships with our partners which will help Google understand their interests in order for us to provide them with the tools they need to positively influence the Kingdoms’ ongoing social and economic development.” 

Also speaking at the event was Patrick Walker, Senior Director, Content Partnerships, YouTube in Europe, the Middle East & Africa, where he delivered a session on the shift to the digital programming highlighting how YouTube is home to the content creators of the future. 

“YouTube is on fire with usage, sharing, channel views, partnerships, and advertisers are all up. In the past year the number of uploads to YouTube in KSA alone has  jumped 200% and views increased 260%.” Walker said. “ 

Walker also discussed the YouTube partner program which offers content creators a range of benefits including, generating revenues, and access to analytics and content management tools which help them target their preferred demographics, while providing viewers with a high-quality branded experience. 

“Partners are the heart of our platform, and we want to see even more of them take the next step in their YouTube careers and turn their video hobbies into careers or even businesses. We’re going to invest heavily in our YouTube Partners, because we believe they are the next generation of content creators. Our partners across the world are driving billions of views a year, including KSA where we have hundreds of successful examples such as the Saudi, La Yekthar show, Khawatir and many others.” 

Google continues to actively engage with the Kingdom through a number of activities including its upcoming technology event g|saudi arabia in Jeddah on March 24-25th. Taking place over two days,  g|saudi arabia will be gathering software developers, webmasters, IT & business professionals, tech entrepreneurs, and university students for training and informative discussions around the future of innovation in the region, and how Google’s suite of products is a major driving force behind that innovation.

Background Information


Founded in 1998 by Stanford PhD students Larry Page and Sergey Brin, Google today is a top web property in all major global markets. Google's innovative search technologies connect millions of people around the world with information every day.

Google's targeted advertising program provides businesses of all sizes with measurable results, while enhancing the overall web experience for users. Google is headquartered in Silicon Valley with offices throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia.

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