Middle East tech-savvy start-ups prefer UAE -- expert

Published June 9th, 2013 - 10:28 GMT
The Arab digital generation accounts for 40% of the MENA population
The Arab digital generation accounts for 40% of the MENA population

The MENA region is thriving amid a high-tech revolution and the UAE is at the heart of the drive to innovation.

That’s according to founder and organizer of ArabNet, Omar Christidis. “Almost half of all startups investment in the region is flowing into the UAE, that’s a phenomenal figure.

That growth in opportunity is a key reason why we’ve brought the ArabNet Digital Showcase into the ArabNet Digital Summit event in Dubai. It’s designed to be the first growth platform in the regionfor up-and-coming digital enterprises looking to expand their companies in new markets.”

The ArabNet Digital Showcase is specifically developed for young digital companies that already have a strong product or service offering and traction in their home markets. The Showcase comes as part of one of the highlights of the ArabNet Digital Summit being held in Dubai at the Atlantis, The Palm from the 24th-26th June.

The Showcase will provide these fast growing enterprises the opportunity to present their businesses, highlight on their latest updates, and conduct one-on-one networking sessions with media buyers and players, marketing managers, telecom operators, banks and payment institutions, and otherstrategic partners and clients.

The ArabNet Digital Showcase will also offer participating businesses the chance to meet highly influential investors who will help them take their business to the next stage of development. The past few years have witnessed an increased influx of investments in technology in the Middle East, especially UAE. 

“ArabNet hopes to engage the highest number of enterprises possible within the Digital Showcase,” stated Christidis.

A recent report from Sindibad Business showed that the total amount of investment in internet and technology in UAE for the years 2011 and 2012 exceeded $74 million, which is more than the total investment flow in Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Lebanon, and Morocco combined.

The Arab digital generation, a tech-savvy demographic born between 1977 and 1997, accounts for 40% of the MENA population and is distinguishing itself economically, socially, and politically.

These young people’s thirst for going digital is reflected by the 60% increase in smartphone penetration in the GCC. Conforming to this growing appetite for technology, most companies in the region now allocate 22% of their annual marketing budget on digital, and 58% of companies are increasing their digital marketing budget this year.

The ArabNet Digital Summit, the biggest annual gathering of digital professionals and entrepreneurs, will be held on June 24-26 at the Atlantis, The Palm, in Dubai. The event will placeover 800 digital experts, investors, and industry leaders at the heart of the Arab digital community.

“When you want to host a digital event that huge, you go to the epicenter of the digital business boom in the region,” said Omar Christidis, founder and CEO of ArabNet. “This is why we chose to hold the Summit in Dubai.”

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