Key regional/international speakers to address central issues in the Middle East’s fast-growing digital ecosystem at the ArabNet Digital Summit 2012
Beirut, Lebanon, 29 February 2012-Over 100 leading global and regional ICT professionals are set to take the stage at the ArabNet Digital Summit 2012 to share their expertise on the latest trends and topics in the field of online business. The Summit, to be held between March 27-31 in Beirut, Lebanon, will bring together leading experts from the global web and mobile industries with digital professionals and entrepreneurs from across the Arab world.
The dynamic line up of speakers will include respected professionals from well-known organizations such as Osama Bedeir, Vice President of Payments at Google; Shervin Pishevar, Managing Director at Menlo Ventures; Amina Belghiti, Head of Platform Partnerships, New Markets EMEA, Facebook; and Barry Wacksman, Chief Growth Officer at R/GA. Presentations will provide in depth insight into a wide spectrum of topics such as entrepreneurship, investment, the future of media and advertising, interaction through social media platforms, and the affect of the latest technology trends on the digital market.
“We are creating a platform for the exchange of ideas between individuals at all levels of the industry with the aim of generating true forward movement for the many strong public and private sector initiatives shaping the region’s online markets,” stated Omar Christidis, Founder of ArabNet. “The region is seeing remarkable growth in the online space and major new opportunities are opening up daily. We’re aiming to harness that energy at the Summit.”Over the span of the five-day summit, speakers will focus especially on fields such as commerce that have witnessed major shifts to online, and adopted new models in order to keep pace in an increasingly digital world.
“E-commerce in particular has developed at a stupendous rate over the past year. Websites like MarkaVIP and Jadopado have been experiencing remarkable growth both in terms of customer acquisition and revenues” explains Christidis
The region has also seen the proliferation of vertical sales websites like Mumzworld, an e- commerce site dedicated to mothers, and Run2Sport, the first online sports apparel shop in the Middle East. The latter alone secured a 2.5 million USD investment from Souq.com, a Jabbar Internet Group company.
“Of course the Telecom industry remains a key player in the tech sector, with mobile operators looking to increase and expand their revenue streams through creating and monetizing content” adds Christidis. The ArabNet Digital Summit 2012 is garnering huge interest from the Telecom industry. This year Saudi Telecom Company (STC) joins ArabNet as a Strategic Partner in addition to Bank Audi and MBC Group, with Lebanese Mobile Operator Alfa sponsoring the event. The Summit will also host a Telecom Executives Panel that features speakers from STC, Vodafone Egypt, and Oger Telecom.
The future of media will be addressed as well in light of the latest developments in web, placing special emphasis on the convergence of television and online media, SmartTVs and on-demand content, and the evolution of news reporting through crowdsourced information and citizen journalism.
The ArabNet Digital Summit 2012 kicks off with Developer Days, extended to run over the first 2 days of the event. Developer Days will include tutorials, workshops and talks by global leaders Facebook, Google, Microsoft and major regional development houses. New additions include community organized Lightning Talks and the free and open to all OVERNIGHT competition where developers are challenged to build a web or mobile application in under twelve hours.
The five day summit will be split up into four parts: two Developer Days (March 27-28), which will host technical discussions and workshops for programmers; an Industry Day (March 28) focused on how web and mobile applications are transforming travel and tourism, banking, education, and healthcare; two Forum Days (March 29-30), which will bring together digital business leaders in the region to cover the latest web and mobile trends and technologies and feature pitches by some of the region’s top entrepreneurs; and finally, a Community Day (March 31) open to the public and focused on raising awareness about the power of digital.
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