It's not often you find me parroting one of Spot On's announcements on the blog, but that's just what I'm about to do. The ArabNet Digital Summit, the regional digital conference forum event thingy, is coming to Dubai. The Beirut-based event has already spawned offshoots in Cairo and Riyadh, as well as a number of roadshows and other regional events. Now organiser Omar Christidis has decided to split ArabNet, recognising the diverse roles played by different parts of the region - Dubai, pretty much by default the Middle East's shop front for all things digital and media, is to host the conference component of ArabNet. The event will take place on the 24th-26th June if you want to mark your calendar.
That's a pretty smart move in my humble opinion*. It's long been a great truth that while the Levant is the cradle of IP creation and innovation, the GCC is the big market prize and the UAE, Dubai in particular, is where the sales operations belong - and, of course, where pretty much every regional ICT company is headquartered. Not only that, but Dubai is also home to many of the publishers and broadcasters who make up our regional media.
The event will be a three-day summit, with days devoted to start-ups, vertical industry content and developers respectively. Given that ArabNet Beirut has grown over the past three years to become easily the preeminent digital event in the region - and yes, I admit to having been originally surprised that an event of such quality took place in Beirut - putting the same thinking, strong content and agenda and organisational skills into a Dubai based event should result in something pretty special.
I have always been a strident ArabNet fan and the company wot I works for, the stellar digital communications agency Spot On Public Communications, is the event's PR partner - just so's you know and don't think I'm shilling you or anything sneaky like that...
Cartoon courtesy, of course, the ever so talented Maya Zankoul.
*BinMugahid nagged about the lack of the word 'opinion'. I gave in. In the good old days, you'd have seen that in Comments, but of course now it's debated on Twitter and Google+. *sigh*