Archive for the ‘Saudi Arabia’ Category

MBC Group & CDC Games Partner On Arabic Online Gaming Portal

| June 29, 2008 – 12:25 pm | comment 5 Comments

MBC GroupMBC Group recently partnered with CDC Games, a global market leader in online gaming and distribution based in China, to develop and launch an Arabic online gaming web portal which will include a portfolio of massive multi-player online games (MMPOG/MMPORG), in both English and Arabic.

MBC Group aims to reproduce the success of the online multi-player game genre in the Arab world, through launching games that are customized for the region’s audience and that appeal to the numbers of Arab gamers that have been pretty limited in their choices up to now.

Online gaming has become a huge global industry with an estimated value expected to reach $13 – $15 billion by 2012. This progressive trend is clearly what incited MBC Group to develop this venture for the Arab market.

This is yet another online project by MBC Group, that is part of their strong online strategy push recently, which has produced projects such as MBC iMatter, a social networking site for Arab women, and MBC2 Movies In Motion, a video sharing and social networking service; and which Sam Barnett, Chief Operating Officer and General Manager of MBC Group, describes as their “overall strategy of leading the region towards digital and media convergence.”

# More: Zawya

Syraty, Online Professional Resume Builder

| June 18, 2008 – 9:30 am | comment 4 Comments

SyratySyraty is a new Saudi-based Arabic online service that provides job seekers with the possibility to easily create and maintain a professional resume that is hosted online, available for download in Word or PDF format, or printing, and that can easily be sent to companies.

Users can build and customize their resumes online through an easy straight-forward interface, that allows them to add as many sections as they wish and input content for them through a rich text editor.
They can then either publish their CVs or keep them for their personal use; and even when published, they have the choice to either make them public and have them submitted to search engines or to password protect them so as to control access.

Instant email and SMS notifications can be enabled to allow the candidate to know exactly when and from where potential employers viewed their resume. A detailed statistics and graphs interface provides even more details about the resume’s distribution and where viewing visitors came from.

A list of Saudi and International employers is provided as well, enabling users to quickly send their hosted CV address to a number of these companies by simply selecting them and clicking send.
Of course job seekers can also send their CVs to other companies either by downloading one of the formats and sending it by email, printing the CV, or by sending the link to the online version of it.

Employers can use a contact form on the user’s resume page to get in touch with them, ask questions and eventually schedule an interview.

Syraty screenshot

The service is available through three paid plans, ranging from $5.33 to $39.7 per year, providing different options and possibilities, like the number of themes that can be used for the created resumes, whether it’s hosted on a subdomain of Syraty or on the user’s own personal domain, the number of SMS notifications they can receive, …etc.

Syraty is generously offering StartUpArabia readers, the first 1000 at least, a free account under the Silver plan; Register for your free account.

The service’s interface is in Arabic only, but it allows users to create their CVs in English, as most companies in the Middle East region require English-language resumes.

# Syraty

Al-Fawaed, Arab Social Knowledge Sharing Service

| May 15, 2008 – 1:23 pm | comment No Comments

Al FawaedAl-Fawaed, which means “benefits” or “useful things” in English, is an interesting new project, which lets users share the useful and most interesting points they’ve taken away from reading a certain book or article, listening to a lecture, watching a television program, or even from a personal life experience.

There are two ways of sharing these useful points; either by writing a summary resuming and listing them, or by posting a mind map diagram explaining the ideas behind them; in either case presenting the information in a simple format that can be passed on easily; the possibility to tag and categorize these points further organizes them and makes them easier to find.

The aim behind it all is both to be able to go back to these noted useful ideas at a later date, and to share them with the community of users, thereby sharing knowledge in a simple and effective way.

Like all social sites, other site users can vote these summaries and mind maps up or down according to how useful they find them.

Al Fawaed Screenshot

Al-Fawaed was launched in 2007 from Saudi Arabia, with an Arabic interface only, by a team consisting of Nawaf Hareeri, Abdulrahman Al-Harithi, Rakan Yamani and Khaled Hareeri.

# Al-Fawaed

MBC iMatter, First Social Networking Site For Arab Women

| April 26, 2008 – 9:30 am | comment 1 Comment

Saudi media giant MBC Group have made a new online move, this time aimed at Arab women, in the form of a new social networking site for Arab women, called iMatter, that was just launched a couple of days ago.

iMatter invites Arab women to join an online community tailored to their needs and that takes their specific cultural needs into consideration.

Like all the other social networking sites out there, you get to search for and befriend other users, join specific groups and events, post photos, vote on polls and discuss different topics in the forum section.
There is also an internal mail system built into the service, as well as a personal blog/journal feature.

The site isn’t just a social networking site though, as it also aims at empowering Arab women through their iMatter Achievements Awards program, in which women get to submit their entries on or more of four separate award categories: Art Matters (Pieces of art, poems, …), Community Matters (Outline of how to make a difference in community), New Media Matters (Ideas on how to maximize benefit of new media) and Entrepreneurial Matters (Business plan); and then get the chance to win prizes that could change their lives.
All entries should be themed around “Culture” or “Education”, or a collaboration of both.

An online magazine featuring articles on women-related issues is also part of the service.

The site was designed and built for MBC by UK agency Leftfield Digital.

Along with previously reviewed Twffaha, this new service signals a push from Arab businesses and entrepreneurs towards women-oriented services, in an attempt to empower Arab women, and help them reach their full potentials in community.
Both are great initiatives, and hopefully we’ll see more soon.

Qaym, User Generated Restaurant Reviews

| April 23, 2008 – 8:45 am | comment 2 Comments

Qaym is a Saudi based service, built around user reviews and social rating of restaurants and eateries from around the world, that just came out of private beta and launched publicly.

Users fully generate the content for the service through their contributions; Every restaurant gets a page, which shows the current user rating for it, tags that describe what the restaurant offers, a list of the countries and cities that restaurants has branches in, as well as reviews and photos submitted by users.

The way the content is organized, you not only get access to reviews of certain restaurants you want to check out before going to, but you can also access a directory-like listing of all restaurants, or of eateries in a certain country or city.

The idea behind it is quite simple and straight-forward, as is the interface and design, which makes it all the better and easier to use. The interface is in Arabic only for the time being.

Saudi Jihad al-Ammar is behind this project, he began working on it last year, and beta tested privately for a bit over 9 months before launching last week.

MBC2 Movies In Motion, Social Networking & Video Sharing

| April 19, 2008 – 7:51 am | comment No Comments

Media companies in the Arab world don’t usually have much more than a standard website/portal with which they mark their presence and just showcase their programme alongside a bit of content here and there; but in one of the Arab world’s first moves of its kind, the Saudi media giant MBC Group, which is based in Dubai Media City, has gone on and launched a major online service called ‘Movies In Motion‘ in association with the Dubai International Film Festival.

The service is available in English and Arabic and is really well built and pretty rich in features, mainly revolving around social-networking and video-sharing.

Users get to put together their network of friends; join or create groups around which communities can be built; they can list their favorite Movies, Actors and Directors; post articles, gossip, news, …etc; have access to reviews of movies playing on the MBC channels and the possibility to comment on them.

Another important part of the service is the video sharing one, where users get to upload and rate their own short movies, that could earn them prizes like the Nokia N95 and get their short movies played on MBC2; another possibility is to play around with current MBC on air promotions creating their own mashups.


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