Category: UAE Technology Trends

30
Mar

Samir Arora, Founder & CEO of Glam Media

Samir Arora, Founder & CEO of Glam Media took part at a panel about the future of branding at the Abu Dhabi Media Summit 2010. Right after the discussion I met talked him about his key issues.

Glam Media is a distributed media network comprised of both Glam-owned-and-operated properties and a publisher network of 450+ lifestyle websites and blogs. Glam Media aims to bring high-quality print content to the online medium, instead of the usual online trend of having print magazine-lite content. The Glam Media network also includes a slew of fashion websites, blogs and magazines.

Founder Samir Arora wants to gear the site’s online advertising towards the female market in the same way that traditional print has. Glam Media is working with publishers, content owners and media companies to reach readers in effective ways. Glam officially launched in September 2005 at Fashion Week, New York and quickly grew from there. After signing a partnership with AOL in October, Glam created the Glam Network consisting of style websites and blogs later that year. Since then, Glam has partnered with the women’s magazine Cosmopolitan, signed a content syndication deal with the Hearst Corporation, and completed a multi-year advertising deal with Google. With more than 53 million unique monthly visitors, Glam Media, Inc. is clearly proving itself as a leader in the online industry for women’s lifestyle and fashion.

30
Mar

Edward Borgerding, CEO, Abu Dhabi Media Company

The Abu Dhabi Media Company hosted the inaugural Abu Dhabi Media Summit 2010. I talked to Edward Borgerding, the CEO of the Abu Dhabi Media Company during the exclusive event.

The Abu Dhabi Media Company is a media company with its headquarters in Abu Dhabi with over 2.500 employees. It is one of the fastest growing, multi-platform media organizations in the Middle East. Abu Dhabi Media Company owns and operates a range of television channels (Abu Dhabi Al Oula, Abu Dhabi Al Emarat, Abu Dhabi Al Riyadiya, Abu Dhabi Al Riyadiya 2, Abu Dhabi +1 and National Geographic Abu Dhabi) and a network of radio stations (Abu Dhabi FM, Emarat FM, Star FM, Holy Quran FM, and Abu Dhabi Classic FM), as well as number of publications (Al Ittihad newspaper, The National newspaper, Zahrat Al Khaleej magazine and Majid magazine), and a number of other media related businesses, including Imagenation Abu Dhabi that develops, finances and produces full length feature films and digital content for Arabic and international markets; LIVE which owns a fleet of outdoor HD broadcast vans; and United Printing Press, a state of the art printing press. ADMC’s Digital Group operates several digital assets including Getmo Arabia, goalarabia.com, and super.ae. In 2009 it formed two significant partnerships: VEVO, the online music video platform with Universal Music Group and Sony Music, and a first in the region MMOG joint-venture with Gazillion Entertainment.

29
Mar

Christian Magel, CMO of simyo, reviews the Abu Dhabi Media Summit 2010

At the last day of the Abu Dhabi Media Summit 2010 Christian and I did the ultimate desert experience and went on a desert safari. It was a good time to reflect on the conference and the people we met. Christian Magel, Chief Marketing Officer of the MVNO simyo, was impressed by the high quality of C-Level executives attending the conference. Many CEOs and Chairman of major media companies attended the event, including Eric Schmidt, Ruper Murdoch, Tim Armstrong, Hartmut Ostrowski, Hans Vestberg, Edward Borgerding and many more.

In my Interview we talked about “building empires in the desert”.

29
Mar

Jonney Shih, Chairman ASUS, about the future of mobile computing

Cloud Computing was one major topic of the Abu Dhabi Media Summit 2010. I talked with Jonney Shih, Chairman ASUS, about his perspective, trends and predictions for mobile computing. ASUS is best know for the EEE PC Netbook but also produced an own tablet computer. Mr Shih said that “there will be a slow shift from desktop computing to cloud computing” but ASUS believes that Cloud Computing is driving the markt at the moment.

ASUSTeK Computer Incorporated (ASUS) (traditional Chinese: ??????????; pinyin: Huáshuo Diànna? Gufen Y?uxiàn G?ngs?), is a multinational corporation centered in Taiwan, produces computer products: motherboards, laptops, servers, mobile phones and others. Commonly called by its brand name ASUS, the company is listed on both the London Stock Exchange (LSE: ASKD) and the Taiwan Stock Exchange (TSE: 2357). As of 26 November 2009, 29.2% of PCs sold in the previous 12 months worldwide came with an ASUS motherboard. The company’s 2009 revenues reached US$21.2 billion. The headquarters is located in Beitou District, Taipei.

28
Mar

A Digital Business Card for Events

Would you use a digital business card? The participants at the Abu Dhabi Media Summit 2010 did. During the two day conference the participants where getting used to connect their digital business cards, called “Poken”, instead of exchanging printed address cards. In the following interview Stéphane Doutriaux, founder of the innovative Social Business Card company, explains the technology and gives you some insights about the company.

Poken is a technology that utilizes a proprietary Near Field Communication (NFC) technology to allow the exchange of online social networking data between two keychain accessories. It is a perfect tool for Events and Conferences. Each person involved in the exchange must have his or her own poken. The primary information exchanged via the poken is a ‘social business card’, a digital replacement for a physical business card. By touching two devices together, a unique ID is exchanged that links to contact information on the Poken website. Contact information acquired by use of the poken can be uploaded to the poken website using a built-in USB connector.

In addition to the contact information found on a typical business card, links to users’ social networks can also be added. Examples include Twitter, Facebook, StudiVZ, LinkedIn and 40+ other social networks. Users of the Poken website can use a ‘social dashboard’ to manage, and interact with their contacts. Pokens are used for social networking, personal identification and as a device for loyalty programs. Bloggers and social media addicts have taken it up for networking event such as tweet-ups. Corporations such as BMW and IBM use pokens at their conferences, to enhance interaction with the conference attendees and to facilitate business networking.

27
Mar

The Abu Dhabi Film Festival

Peter Scarlet is an inspiring, well connected person and the man behind the scene of the Abu Dhabi Film Festival. At the Abu Dhabi Media Summit 2010 he explained to me why the Festival in the United Arab Emirates is becoming more and more important for the film industry. The Award will take place at the Emirates Palace Hotel in Abu Dhabi and will give away prices worth over one Million US Dollars.

The Middle East International Film Festival (MEIFF) was established in 2007 and is presented annually in Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates, by the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage (ADACH). MEIFF’s mission is to affirm the key place Abu Dhabi holds as an emerging cultural center and to foster the growth of its local film community. The Festival celebrates cinema in all its forms by creating a vibrant forum for storytellers from the Middle East and around the world.

26
Mar

Understanding the “Mobile First” Strategy of Google

During the Abu Dhabi Media Summit 2010 Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google Inc. hold a keynote and talked about the key strategy of Google “Mobile First”.

Here are some of his key statements during his speech:
United Arab Emirates & the middle east is the region with the fastest growing internet penetration with our 100% per year. One third of the population is under the age of 14 years, so five years from now they will play a major role for the digital industry.

When Google recently launched new social products the most relevant and interesting elements and features were on the mobile version. Our smartest engineers, who are building our applications, are starting with the mobile part of the application rather than the desktop part. Google calls this trend “Mobile First”. That’s a huge shift for our generation, executives and corporations.

Mobile Web adoption is growing eight times faster then the adoption of the desktop internet ten years ago. So it is not even bigger, the change is even quicker. There are more smartphones right now than there are personal computers. Half of the internet connection are on mobile devices. And in many countries Mobile is the primary way to access Google, e.g. Indonesia, South Africa and Nigeria.

26
Mar

Would you start a printed Newspaper today? “The National” did two years ago in UAE.

Hassan Fattah is Chief Editor of “The National” in Abu Dhabi. I met Hassan Fattah at the Abu Dhabi Media Summit 2010 and I asked him how to build up a Newspaper from scratch during these turbulent times. The newspaper was started in 2008. Hassan Fattah said: “Print still counts in this part of the world and that’s why we have started a printed Newspaper first and now expand in digital media formats.” Print is also the biggest driver for the Newspaper – “Print is King” as Mr. Fattah said in this video interview:

The NationalAbout “The National” www.thenational.ae:
The National is a government-owned English-language daily newspaper published in Abu Dhabi. The editor-in-chief since June 8, 2009 has been Hassan Fattah. Mubadala Development Company, an investment company owned by the Abu Dhabi government and royal family, owns the paper. The National has built its staff of 250 from newspapers around the world, including the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times and the Daily Telegraph of Britain. Martin Newland was editor of the Daily Telegraph from 2003-2005 and he took with him many former Telegraph employees, most notably Colin Randall (former Telegraph executive news editor), Sue Ryan (former managing editor) and senior photographer Stephen Lock (who covered domestic and foreign news and the international fashion circuit during 20 years on the Daily Telegraph). The National is one of a few English-language newspapers produced in the United Arab Emirates, and is the only one produced in Abu Dhabi.

23
Mar

DLD Women Conference 2010

The DLD announced a new conference this week, called „DLDwomen – The Female Decade”. The inaugural event will take place in June 2010 at the centre of innovative technology in Munich, Germany. DLDwomen is organized by the DLD team as a new format and extension of the successful annual DLD Conference and builds upon its creative network and competence.

In the following Video Interview Steffi Czerny, one of the hosts of the famous DLD conference, talks about the passion behind this new event. She also explains what role Digitalisation, eHealth and Leadership plays in the era of “womenomics”. The interview was filmed at the Abu Dhabi Media Summit 2010.

The chairman of the event is Dr. Maria Furtwängler-Burda. DLDwomen is focusing on the “Female Decade” and the so-called “womenomics” and is about new opportunities, new markets, the new lifestyle and future developments of women’s role that are being influenced by today’s digital age and social transformation.

More about DLDwomen at http://www.dld-conference.com

18
Mar

twofour54 is building a media empire in Abu Dhabi

twofour54 is an Abu Dhabi government initiative and an integral part of its 2030 plan, which seeks to diversify the Emirate’s economy and establish the Emirate as the cultural capital of the Middle East. twofour54’s vision is to establish a sustainable Arabic media and entertainment content creation industry in Abu Dhabi; a regional centre of excellence which is internationally renowned. The aim is to stimulate creative and professional partnerships in the television, radio, film, publishing, online, mobile, music, gaming and animation industries.

At the Abu Dhabi Media Summit 2010 I talked with Tony Orsten, CEO, about how to build a media industry from scratch.

The company provides a collaborative and supportive ecosystem that will allow the establishment of a world-class media industry for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. The focus is on developing Arabic media and entertainment content by Arabs and for the Arab audience. twofour54 delivers its advanced cohesive infrastructure through three key pillars: twofour54 tadreeb (the training academy), twofour54 ibtikar (innovation and support) and twofour54 intaj (state-of-the-art production facilities) supported by business enabler twofour54 tawasol (one-stop-shop).

twofour54 has already attracted several of the region and world’s largest and most influential content creation companies. By the start of 2010, twofour54 had more than 60 partners, all of whom have recognised the vast opportunity that the Arab world represents for growth and has committed significant investment and resources to business initiatives that will be led out of twofour54.

And by the way the name twofour54 is taken from Abu Dhabi’s geographical coordinates, which are latitude 24 north, longitude 54 east. This name was chosen to symbolise Abu Dhabi’s strategic position within the Middle East, which makes it the ideal location for the centre of excellence for content creation in the Arab region.

About Tony Orsten
Chief Executive Officer, twofour54

In this role, Tony provides strategic leadership for the business in order to deliver on its mission of creating an ecosystem that will allow the content creation industry to flourish in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.

Tony has more than 30 years experience in the UK and international creative content industry. He is an academy award winning television director, channel executive and innovative programming expert. At London Weekend Television, he won his first academy award with Network 7, a breakthrough TV format which put “serious” television back on the agenda for the youth audience. Tony joined the Abu Dhabi Media Authority in December 2007, taking a major role in the Abu Dhabi Government’s initiative to create a media and content creation industry in the Arab region.

Prior to joining twofour54, Tony created, developed and launched successful television products and entertainment channels for Paramount Pictures Inc across Europe in Spain, Italy, Poland and in the free TV market of Germany, which serves 34 million homes.

In September 2006, Tony joined the founders of Skype to launch Joost, the world’s first broadcast-quality television platform on the Internet. He led the UK content team from the Joost UK London offices. Previously, Tony was the CEO of MTV Networks International’s portfolio of entertainment channels including Paramount Comedy UK and Paramount Comedy Espana.

18
Mar

Tom Stewart: Is Abu Dhabi Going for Growth?

The inaugural Abu Dhabi Media Summit 2010 presented a discussion about “Going for Growth”. Tom Stewart, Chief Marketing & Knowledge Officer of Booz & Company, moderated the panel and was joined by H.E. Khaldoon Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of Twofour54, Ari Emanuel, Co-CEO of William Morris Endeavor Entertainment, Maurice Lévy, Chairman and CEO of Publicis Groupe, James Murdoch, Chairman & CEO of Europe & Asia News Corporation and Hartmund Ostrowski, Chairman & CEO of Bertelsmann AG.

After the panel discussion I talked with Tom Stewart about the key topics and results.

The panel was about the combination of leapfrogging technologies and emerging markets. This powerful combination creates new markets which are much larger than they ever were and an rapid expansion of media markets. At the same time we have dramatic changes in media technologies moving from print media to digital media. This development does not only offer unthinkable opportunities, but also creates much more risks.

The panelist mostly represented “established money” while H.E. Khaldoon Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of Twofour54 best represented the emerging markets and new growth.

During the panel discussion James Murdoch, Chairman & CEO of Europe & Asia News Corporation, said that News Corp. is preparing for a “Revolution of Reading” due to eReaders, tablets and digital media. In our future vision video “Mobile Future 2020” we estimate 2016 as the year of digital newspapers, but maybe News Corp. is driving these new markets even faster then we thought.

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