Image via WikipediaArabNet is taking place in Beirut on the 25th March. A two day conference, ArabNet aims to provide a regional platform for Web startups that will foster innovation and entrepeneurialism in the Arab world and consists of a load of 'how to' conference sessions featuring high profile international speakers as well as a range of pitching and demoing opportunities such as the Ideathon, which awards cash prizes for the development of the best 3 ideas pitched at the event.
With the strap line 'Trends and Opportunities in Arab Web Business', the event is one of a number of symptoms of a resurgent regional technology sector - Jordan's ICT Forum looks set to take place once again this year after a couple of years off - that's being driven by the web and, yes, the social web.
A series of workshops has been taking place around the region prior to the event in Beirut, aimed at helping young entrepeneurs hone the business cases they're taking along to ArabNet.
Where I find ArabNet interesting is its potential to be more than just a talking shop - with venture capital and investors, the backing of existing regional big names such as Zawya, Maktoob and Aramex as well as important web media properties such as ArabCrunch, the event has every chance of developing as an important part of fostering the fast growth of Web-enabled businesses in the region. We never really had a dot com boom in the region. It'd be interesting to see us having one now - better late than never!