By Claire Valdini
Popular social network to setup shop in Gulf on back of one of biggest IPOs ever
Facebook, the social networking company that listed last week in one of the largest initial public offerings (IPOs) in US history, will open an office in Dubai in a bid to boost advertising revenues from the oil-rich GCC.
The social network will open up in Dubai Internet City with an initial staff of three, local media reported citing sources familiar with the plans. The official launch date is slated for May 30.
Facebook is one of the most popular social networking sites in the Arab world. More than half of the UAE’s population is signed up to the site, according to a 2011 report by the Dubai School of Government. Arab Facebook users reached 43m April, according to an Arab Social Media report.
Facebook listed its shares on Friday in the third-largest IPO in US history, valuing the eight-year old company at US$104bn.
But the social networking company’s sky-high valuation coupled with trading glitches has left the stock languishing near its offering price.
Shares in New York on Tuesday closed 8.9 percent lower at US$31, following an 11 percent decline on Monday.
The firm has lost more than US$19bn in market capitalisation from its US$38 per share offering price last week.