Archive for the ‘United Arab Emirates’ Category, Business Community Portal For UAE SMEs

| November 7, 2008 – 12:26 pm | comment No Comments

SMELinkThe Mohammed bin Rashid Establishment for Young Business Leaders (SME) and Tejari, the leading online B2B marketplace for global emerging markets, has announced the launch of, a new online portal specifically catering to small and medium businesses.

The launch of this portal marks yet another addition to the rapidly expanding portfolio of services provided to Tejari members. “This achievement is a big step for Tejari and we are convinced that e-commerce will only grow from strength to strength through our initiatives,” said Omar Hijazi, CEO of Tejari.

Members registered with the Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Establishment For Young Business Leaders automatically become a member of this portal, gaining access to an online community of over quarter million members. In addition to this, all members of the community are eligible for an eExhibit package, whereby they can set up an online showroom to display their products and services.

“The new portal will without doubt benefit members of the establishment and will open up new windows of opportunity for existing and new small and medium size enterprises,” said Adbul Baset Al Janahi, CEO of Mohammed bin Rashid Est. for Young Business Leaders (SME).

# Source: Khaleej Times

Maktoob Unveils ‘Khan Wars’ A Free Online Strategy Game

| November 1, 2008 – 12:43 pm | comment 5 Comments

Khan, the world’s largest Arabic online community with over 12 million unique users, has unveiled ‘Khan Wars‘, a free, strategy-based online game played directly through the Web browser. The Arabic-language game was launched at the first Dubai World Game Expo, which opened yesterday at the Dubai International Exhibition Centre.

Available exclusively on, ‘Khan Wars’ is designed to recreate medieval times, bringing to life epic battles of an ancient era by leveraging war simulation technologies. ‘Khan Wars’ can be played from any computer with just a Web browser such as Internet Explorer or Firefox, and doesn’t necessitate downloads. Gamers can register for the free, browser-based game by logging on to

With the launch of ‘Khan Wars’, becomes one of the pioneers to bring Arabic-language online gaming to a mass Arab audience through its extensive online consumer reach, which includes hundreds of thousands of tech-savvy young gamers in the 13-24 age group.

“We are confident that’s substantial youth demographic, combined with the non-stop action experience that ‘Khan Wars’ offers gamers, will make Khan Wars a sure winner with the burgeoning gaming community in the Arab world,” said Sohaib Thiab, Product Manager, Games.

‘Khan Wars’ is designed to offer gaming aficionados a fast-paced, non-stop action experience that far exceeds the excitement of casual gaming by appealing to the players’ imagination and challenging their tactical acumen. The game requires players to rely on tactics and positioning, think up new strategies and maneuver artfully.


Dubai-based Content Syndicate Wins YourBusiness SME Awards

| October 30, 2008 – 9:45 pm | comment No Comments

Content SyndicateAt a recent industry event organised by YourBusiness magazine and Visa, Dubai-based Content Syndicate was awarded two prestigious awards, emerging triumphant in the ‘Best New SME’ as well as the overall ‘Best SME in the GCC’ categories.

The awards were sponsored by HP and Visa International as platinum sponsor of the overall winner category.

The 2008 YourBusiness SME Awards marks the anniversary of YourBusiness publication in the market and by extension seeks to reward entrepreneurs for growth. Sponsors for these awards include Visa International, Emirates NBD, Etisalat, HP, Hamriyah Free Zone, DHL and Forsa.

The awards were open to local and expatriate business owners of small to medium enterprises, or SMEs that employ less than 250 staff, earn up to AED 50 million and operate in the Gulf region. The awards ceremony took place at the Park Hyatt Hotel on 20 October 2008 and was attended by over 200 invitees.

Commenting on the win, Content Syndicate’s Founder & CEO, Maddy Reddy, said: “With SMEs constituting nearly 80% of the business ecosystem, both in the region and globally, we are honoured to be awarded this recognition. It’s also easy to overlook the fact that some of the biggest firms out there were all ‘garage start-ups’ or SMEs when they started out. This award is an important milestone for us in the long and exciting journey ahead.”

The judging panel comprised of senior management from Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation, Visa, HP, Etisalat, HSBC, Emirates NBD, Citibank, YourBusiness advisory board and business consultants.


Intel Capital Invests In Dubai-Based Startup Sphere Networks

| October 29, 2008 – 10:07 pm | comment 13 Comments

Sphere NetworksIntel Capital, Intel’s investment arm, joined Dubai Silicon Oasis (DSO) by announcing its investment in Sphere Networks, an emerging Dubai-based startup specialising in next generation network management software. This move marks Intel’s first investment in a company based in the Gulf region.

The investment should help Sphere to expand both its technology base, get access to Intel technologies and develop sales and marketing to deliver its products to market. The amount of the investment was not disclosed.

The startup employs a team of 26 people, from different backgrounds, in Dubai; developing enterprise level network management solutions, which are already in use with a number of government customers in the region. 

The investment, announced today by Christian Morales, Intel VP Sales & Marketing and General Manager, Europe Middle East and Africa, is part of Intel’s drive to expand its economic, educational and technology-related support across the UAE. 

Under this program, Intel continues to increase its investment in four key areas: local entrepreneurship, education, digital accessibility and specialized technical competencies, to help promote technology skills, knowledge transfer and jobs creation in the UAE. 

Commenting on the announcement, Morales underlined the importance of fostering innovative, home-grown ideas and noted that today’s news illustrates Intel’s ongoing commitment to collaborate with local players that share the vision of taking entrepreneurial projects to the next level of global competitiveness. 


ABAN Hosts Fourth Annual Entrepreneur – Investor Matchmaking Event

| October 26, 2008 – 7:44 pm | comment 6 Comments

ABANThe Arab Business Angels Network (ABAN), a subsidiary of Dubai International Capital (DIC), in partnership with Young Arab Leaders (YAL), hosted its 4th annual entrepreneur-investor matchmaking event, taking forward the concept of angel or seed capital investing, a relatively new phenomenon in the Middle East.

The event, held on October 20th at the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) spotlighted three aspiring start-ups:

  • White Smile, a project specializing in professional teeth whitening, oral detoxification, and cleansing therapies.
  • Chipmunk, a franchise of an eclectic range of baby products from Belgium. 
  • Khayal Interactive, an Egyptian game production company.

ABAN’s matchmaking events offer entrepreneurial ventures in the MENA region an opportunity to showcase their businesses and connect with high net worth investors seeking start-up investment opportunities. The affluent investors, termed angel investors, provide capital for business start-ups, typically in exchange for ownership equity.

In the past year, ABAN has signed up with several leading regional and international organisations to pool resources and promote entrepreneurialism, innovation and knowledge creation in the region.

Recently, ABAN joined forces with the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation to foster entrepreneurship among women across the Arab region. ABAN has also collaborated with Dubai Internet City, one of the world’s largest managed ICT clusters and a member of TECOM Investments, to source new entrepreneurial ventures in the high-growth technology sector for further developing the region as a knowledge-based economy.

In addition, ABAN has partnered with Bader Group to support the establishment of a business angels networks in Lebanon. It has also signed an MoU with the Al Ahli Holding Group (AAHG) to promote developmental, cross-learning relationships between Emirati youth and the youth of other countries to help groom competent leaders for the future. 

ABAN offers a wide range of benefits to its members ranging from advice and consultancy to financial support and training for selected entrepreneurs. ABAN also supports proposal pitching to investors, and facilitates collaboration and syndication among investors to maximise investment opportunities. 

The Arab Business Angels Network is scheduled to host its next matchmaking event on December 15th for introducing yet another batch of entrepreneurs to regional investors.

DemoCamp Dubai 3 – The Agenda

| October 22, 2008 – 10:31 pm | comment 2 Comments

DemoCamp DubaiAs previously announced, the third DemoCamp Dubai will be taking place at the Radisson SAS in Dubai Media City on October 28th at 7:30PM.

The following four demos will be taking place at the event:

  • Jawaker is a multi-player online gaming site that is dedicated to card games from the Arab world. 
  • Twffaha is a job portal for women, aiming to promote recruiting women in the region. (Previously reviewed here)
  • Untiny is a new service that given a shortened URL, expands it to retrieve the original web address behind it. (Previously reviewed here)
  • Industrials Directory is an industrial search engine and locator that provides one source for finding the exact product, service, or supplier and locate them.

The format will be the same as the first two events, with the presenters giving 10 minute presentations of their work, with 5 minutes for Q&A.

The presenters will also be available to answer any further questions, receive feedback and share some thoughts after the event.

StartUpArabia At Gitex Technology Week 2008

| October 18, 2008 – 7:48 pm | comment 2 Comments

GitexStartUpArabia will be present at Gitex Technology Week 2008, that kicks off tomorrow at Dubai’s International Convention and Exhibition Centre, through my humble self, Mohamed Marwen Meddah.

The Gitex Technology Week will be going on from tomorrow, October 19th to Thursday 23rd.

If you’ll be exhibiting at the event or visiting, and you’re interested in having a little chat, just drop me an email at:, I’d be glad to meet you.

I’ll be moving around meeting people most of the time, but will also be hanging around the Tunisian pavilion at Gitex between meetings, so you could also check if I’m there when/if you pass by.

If you’re in Dubai, not going to Gitex, but still interested in getting together for a little talk, please also drop me an email, and I’ll truly do my best so that we can set things up.

DemoCamp Dubai 3 – Radisson SAS, Dubai Media City (Oct. 28th)

| October 6, 2008 – 11:39 am | comment 1 Comment

DemoCamp DubaiThe third DemoCamp Dubai; the Dubai-based launch event for new products, technologies and companies; will be taking place at the Radisson SAS in Dubai Media City on October 28th at 7:30PM.

After a little break during the slower summer months and Ramadan, the third DemoCamp Dubai is set to be held at the same venue and in the same room as the last time, the Al Nada Ballroom, 2nd floor in Radisson SAS hotel, Dubai Media City. Attendance is free, and everyone is welcome to join in.

There are already two confirmed demos scheduled for the event, but there are still openings for a couple more; So, if you’re going to be in Dubai around that date, and you are working on an interesting new web application that you would like to present, then just send an email to: or leave a comment on the blog post announcing the event.

Startups and web applications presented at DemoCamp Dubai will also be reviewed here on StartUpArabia as usual.

First Online Nokia Music Store In Middle East To launch In UAE

| October 3, 2008 – 9:26 pm | comment 2 Comments

Nokia music storeNokia, the worldwide leader in mobility, recently announced that the first Nokia Music Store in the Middle East will be opening its virtual doors in the United Arab Emirates in December 2008.

The new online music store, to be accessible at, will feature a large array of tracks from major regional and international artists, independent labels, and up-and-coming acts.  The site will include a host of interactive features such as music browsing, personal track recommendations and streaming service. Other highlights include the ability to listen to a 30 second clip from any track on the store. Part of the Ovi by Nokia offering, the Nokia Music Store offers a compelling combination of download and streaming services, empowering users to connect to the music they want, in the way they want.

“This is a first of its kind offering in the region in terms of the scope and diversity of the content, as well as user experience. The Nokia Music Store is a fantastic way to build a music collection that is truly mobile, where users can be confident that they are legally downloading music that is high quality and risk free.  It brings a new kind of experience where people can preview, try and discover new music on their PC or on their mobile device like never before,” said Chris Braam, Vice President, Sales, Nokia Middle East and Africa. 

This is the 12th music store that Nokia is rolling out globally. Music will be provided by all major international and regional labels including Universal, Sony BMG, Warner, EMI, Rotana and leading content aggregator Qanawat, as well as thousands of independent labels.

“The UAE is a melting pot, and people here literally come from all parts of the world.  This is why we have ensured that we are offering a diverse collection of music that suits people’s different tastes covering Arabic, Bollywood and international music.  Music, by nature, is ever-evolving, and as new music comes out, we will be continuously adding and updating our catalogue,” said Ayman Chalhoub, Business Manager, Music, Nokia Middle East and Africa.

Users will be able to purchase music as individual tracks, as albums, or through a monthly subscription for PC streaming.   With a single account, music lovers will access the Nokia Music Store via their desktop computer or directly from a range of optimized Nokia devices to browse for new music, get recommendations or search for their favorite artists, songs or albums all from the palm of their hand. Once a track captures their attention, users will be able to add it to their wishlist to buy later or purchase it immediately for download to a mobile device without having to download the same song again on their computer. They will also be able to transfer purchased songs via a PC to compatible Nokia devices.

To celebrate the announcement of the Nokia Music Store in the UAE, Nokia will be presenting Kylie Minogue’s exclusive concert to take place in Dubai Festival City on 21st November 2008, as part of Kylie’s X2008 Tour. The event will be the Australian Pop singer’s first ever show in the Middle East.
As part of this sponsorship, Nokia will be conducting an online competition offering tickets and a host of other prizes.

UAE Second Most Socially Networked Country In The World

| September 30, 2008 – 10:38 am | comment 2 Comments

SynovateA recent worldwide survey by market intelligence firm, Synovate, revealed that 58% of people don’t know what social networking is, plus over one third of social networkers are losing interest.

Over 13,000 people between the ages of 18 and 65 in seventeen markets around the world took part in the survey.

Across these 17 markets surveyed, 42% of people know what online social networking is, which leaves 58% in the dark… either saying ‘no’ or ‘don’t know’.

Overall, 26% across the markets surveyed are members of social networking sites. This peaked with the Netherlands at 49%, United Arab Emirates (UAE) at 46%, Canada at 44% and the US at 40%.

Synovate’s Managing Director for the UAE, George Christodoulides, says: “The popularity in the UAE makes sense. It is a place that’s very connected to the world; a hub for cultures, business and people.”

“These sites also offer a way for people to meet — online — in a society where traditionally men and women don’t always mix freely.”

The survey also asked social networkers to name the sites they belong to. Some markets seemed to favour multiple memberships and some seemed to stick to one or two major ones. The markets where social networking aficionados favour signed up for many sites are UAE, India, Indonesia, and Bulgaria.

Thirty seven percent of all people from the UAE, 35% of South Africans and 29% of Taiwanese agreed that they had more friends online than they have in the ‘real’ world.

On a global level, users did have some reservations about social networking, with 51% saying they were aware of the dangers of social networking such as identity theft, and 36% of respondents saying they were losing interest in social networking.

# Synovate Social Networking Survey Results

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