In a world where there are officially more mobile devices than people, mobile technologies are reshaping consumer behaviour with blazing speed.
With the growing number of consumers, across the Middle East, are hooking to mobile phones for infinite reasons – doing online shopping, browsing, finding the nearest restaurant or just a random search – it becomes imperative for brands to learn how they can capitalize on this blazing phenomenon.
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The start-up ecosystem in the MENA region has continued to grow in 2017, seeing several major developments including increased investment, successful exits of home-grown companies and the development of new start-up initiatives both created locally and imported from countries such as the US (Intelak and Techstars Dubai, respectively).
Dubai is considered the hub of start-up activity in the GCC and, often, the MENA region...
Technology and digital communication are impacting people’s interactions and activities during Ramadan.
Freemium mobile apps like Iquran and Muslim Pro, which launched in Ramadan 2010, are more used during this month. The latter has constantly introduced new features, evolving into a platform that connects Muslims worldwide. Google has even recently created an app called Qibla Finder that guides Muslims to find Makkah’s direction for daily prayers.
Greetings, religious music, recipes search i...
Jeddah-based Saudi entrepreneur Manar Saud Alomayri used to listen to English books online, and felt there is a gap when it comes to Arabic audiobooks. She thought that a modern style of reading books needs to be provided for the mobile-first young generation of the Arab world that she belongs to. This drove the IT professional to leave her well-paid job within the insurance industry to launch Dhad Audiobooks in June 2014, offering online Arabic audiobooks. Books prices range from 6 to 22 Saudi Riyals per book (US$ 1.6 - 5.8). Some are even offered for free, such as إنما نحن جوقة العميان,
Time flies when you're having fun! Dubai-based startup Geeks, launched in December 2014 by the Jordanian partners Mousa Yassin and Fathi Alsharif, has successfully wooed customers in need of tech support, by providing them a prompt on-demand, location-based service.
Over the last couple of years, Geeks won the ‘Most promising startups’ award by Forbes Middle East (2016), raised over $1 million in funds, mapped out plans to expand in the GCC, and morphed from a consumer-focused outfit...
Edtech has been on the rise around the world, with platforms such as California-based Khan Academy making inroads as far away as Yemen.
TeachMeNow.com was launched in May 2015 in Dubai, by serial entrepreneur Thea Myhrvold.
With roots in both Europe (Norway) and the Middle East (Iraq), and having spent some of her childhood growing up in the MENA region, Myhrvold was motivated to turn her online tutoring concept into a reality in an Arab country, and contribute to the regional tech industry's success.
Ever since he first saw Star Trek as a child Damu Winston has had a lifelong fascination with futuristic technology.
The founder and CEO of Universal Linguistics (ULIQ), is an American expat in Dubai who arrived to the UAE in September 2015.
The startup enables users to connect with live interpreters and translators, who speak the desired foreign language the user wants to understand and speak.
The use cases include communicating with locals while traveling, ordering food at a restaurant...
‘We can all go further together than we could all alone’, is the promise of the 2,000-year old practice of ‘jameya’ (‘gameya’ in Egyptian Arabic), which is still popular in Egypt and other predominantly Muslim countries in Africa and the Middle East.
The idea is straightforward: a group of people monthly pitches in a fixed amount of money to a pot, and everyone takes turns taking home all of the money at the end of each month. The practice is also called rotating scoring and credit associations (ROSCA).
You cannot spread happiness without being happy yourself. This tenet is the driving force behind Alper Celen’s aim to build the happiest company in the Middle East. Celen is a Turkish-American entrepreneur and investor who is the cofounder of Joi, one of the GCC’s online gifting platforms. Based in Dubai’s Al Quoz area, it currently operates in the UAE and Saudi Arabia.
Just as his company focuses on spreading good vibes, he decided to make being happy one of the foundations of Joi’s culture....
With the largest B round funding in the history of the Middle East tech ecosystem (41 million dollars for Fetchr) and Amazon’s historic acquisition of Souq and Payfort which happened during the last 60 days, investment in MENA startups will likely be a hot topic this summer. Considering the statistics about the influx of capital in the MENA revealed last week in ArabNet’s latest report, regional entrepreneurs may be asking themselves: “When and how can I get my hands on some of that money?”
Panelists Amad Almsaodi, Sharifa AlBarami and Mohammed Khudairi, shared a close look at the state of the startup ecosystems in Yemen, Oman, and Iraq, respectively.
Almsaodi, a Yemeni entrepreneur, said that businesspeople in his country are discovering opportunities to invest in startups thanks to some encouragement. His real estate search engine Aqar Map was one of several Yemeni startups named a few days ago by the World Economic Forum as one of the 100 Arab startups shaping the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
“As I was telling Yemeni businesspeople about angel investing, I shared with them...
"Agile takes the chaos that comes with being a fast-growing startup and puts it in a structure that gives us focus and helps us deliver a better product faster,” said Andreas Hägglund at recent Lean and Agile Middle East Summit (Agile ME).
The organizing committee of the Agile ME included a few IT professionals based in Riyadh. Among them is Mirza Asfaar Baig, a digital project engineer.
Baig noted that product ownership has been a hot topic of late. This was why he decided to home in on it when he helped organize the 2017 summit’s agenda.
“One of the sessions was about product ownership."
Mobile games have become increasingly popular over the years as smartphones continue to improve with brand new technologies. In the Gulf, several young video game designers are contributing to this wave of mobile gaming by creating games tackling both regional and global audiences.
In Abu Dhabi, Emirati entrepreneur Fakhra Al Mansouri is creating local games that managed to gain global followers. Al Mansouri, also founder and CEO of Hybrid Humans, one of the UAE’s leading independent game studios...
A bevy of geolocation startups already exist in Dubai, yet the Dubai and Riyadh-based Proxera is using its technology to help companies understand and utilize data related to a related subject: geomarketing.
Proxera was one of the exhibitors at Seamless last week, a Dubai trade show focusing on the region’s developments in the payments, retail and ecommerce sectors. Its marketing director Kareem Shams shared data that backs up why they believe so strongly in their mission.“A lot of useful analytics and data are dormant, waiting to be picked up."