By Tamara Pupic
Government leaders, enterprise decision-makers, innovators and investors came together at the 4th edition of the ArabNet Digital Summit in Dubai recently to discuss the future of digital in the region
The UAE captured the lion’s share of tech start-up deals in the MENA region between 2013 and 2015, it was stated at this year’s ArabNet Digital Summit held on May 30-31 at the Madinat Jumeirah Conference and Events Centre in Dubai.
ArabNet’s latest research, The State of Digital Investments in MENA, which is sponsored by Dubai Internet City (DIC), was released at 4th ArabNet Digital Summit, a two-day event held in partnership with Choueiri Group.
In the entrepreneurship space, over $750mn were invested in more than 450 tech start-up deals in the MENA region between 2013 and 2015, with the UAE cementing itself as a key hub for digital start-ups, the report revealed.
According to figures made available at the summit, 27 percent of all investors are from the UAE, followed by Saudi Arabia (16 percent), Lebanon (13 percent) and Egypt (11 percent).
Digital media and advertising innovation were again key themes of the event that featured a range of panels - from native advertising to video distribution – and included one-on-one interviews on how to navigate digital transformation.
“Today, excelling in digital is a key driver for competitive advantage, business growth and customer satisfaction,” said Omar Christidis, founder and CEO of ArabNet.
“The ArabNet Digital Summit delves into the way digital is transforming public and private enterprises, from smart cities, to connected lives, machine learning, big data, corporate investments, and much more.”
To shed light on digital banking transformation, ArabNet released its Digital Banking Adoption in MENA, 2016 report, published in partnership with OMD.
The summit also included the Next Track, sponsored by Starcom, which explored which technologies banks, retailers, and agencies are leveraging to engage a more connected consumer.
The Summit also included the 4th edition of the Digital Showcase, allowing 35 young digital enterprises a platform for growth.
For the second year in a row, ArabNet collaborated with 500 Startups to bring Silicon Valley expertise to MENA entrepreneurs.
The ArabNet Summit also hosted the inaugural edition of the Smartpreneur competition, where entrepreneurs pitch their business ideas for supporting the smart city transformation of Dubai.
The event brought together over 70 speakers, 65 sponsors and partners, and 1,200 attendees from over 50 countries across the world.