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Startups inject digital savvy into events scene

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Earlier this year, Saudi Arabia’s General Entertainment Authority announced a new strategic plan to revamp the local entertainment sector. There are more than 5,000 events on the calendar for 2019, with total investments projected to exceed $64 billion over the next decade.

The plan is part of a broader push to diversify the kingdom’s economy away from oil by 2030 . Events and entertainment tourism are expected to play a key role in this ambitious economic reform.

However, this sector boom is nothing new to the region. The UAE has long established itself as a leading destination for business events and entertainment tourism, while more and more of the Middle East and North Africa’s (Mena) major economies are implementing economic plans that incorporate the thriving events industry in one way or another.

Startups in the region are capitalising on the evolution of this space by developing a digital ecosystem which allows event organisers to deliver an experience living up to the expectations of their attendees.

Whether it is making ticket purchases easier, streamlining event check-in, or addressing a whole host of other challenges regional event organisers have historically faced, these startups are leveraging technology to raise the standards of event management.

“It’s not enough to have great performers when the rest of the experience that comes with attending events is below par,” says Farrukh Bandey, user experience research manager at UXBERT Labs, the digital experience design company behind event planning and discovery app HalaYalla.

HalaYalla Launched in early 2014 by Bandey and Nadeem Bakhsh, the Saudi-based venture came to dominate the country’s entertainment scene after becoming the official ticketing app for the Jeddah Season series of events.

HalaYalla provides a full suite of event management features together with live event analytics and reporting for organisers. It also worked with local authorities to let international event attendees apply for a tourist visa while buying their tickets through the platform.

While gaining the trust of the government was a huge milestone for the company, it was also a serious challenge. The team’s abilities were first put to the test when they handled the registration for Saudi’s first-ever Baloot Championship, a classic trick card game popular in GCC countries. Held in October 2018, the event saw more than 85,000 players register to compete.

Eventtus Considered by many one of the earliest disruptors in Mena’s event space, Eventtus was founded in 2012 by Egyptian duo Mai Medhat and Nihal Fares. The company was backed by multimillion-dollar investment rounds from prominent local and international venture capitals.

The market need Eventtus excelled at addressing was providing event organisers with a customised branded event app. The execution was a great hit for forums such as the Startup Grind’s Global Conference, an annual gathering for a community that supports two million entrepreneurs in more than 125 countries. The organisers witnessed a record-breaking 97 per cent engagement rate with the event’s mobile app when they first implemented it for the 2018 conference.

Empowering the Future for Mena’s Event Industry The region’s event and entertainment industry has prospered for more than a decade. Companies such as TicketsMarche in Egypt, Platinumlist in the UAE, and Ticketing Box Office in Saudi Arabia have been performing strongly, selling event tickets online for many years now.

With a booming event space and a handful of Mena countries embracing entertainment tourism, it might be a good time for this business domain to rise to the next level with a new generation of startups.

Up-and-coming event organisers will be able to provide professional and seamless digital experiences without the need to invest heavily in IT infrastructure. “You [no longer] have to be a massive organisation with unlimited resources to be able to launch and manage a successful event,” Bandey notes when describing the value in using an event management platform.

Eventtus recently developed a new artificial intelligence (AI) algorithm that can suggest speakers and key attendees to organisers and allow participants to identify relevant people to connect with during an event. The introduction of such technologies will not only enable the region to host bigger and better events, but also guarantees that future projects will be smarter.

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Competition

The Startup Roadshow Kicked Off: Meet the 20 Startups Competing in Beirut

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The competition for Syrian-led startups in has just started at Beirut Digital District, kicking off a 5-day bootcamp where the 2 top startups in the country will reach the semi-finals. The roadshow will then continue on to Amman, Erbil, Istanbul and Gaziantep, to conclude in Amsterdam, where the 3 regional winners will pitch during the SPARK Ignite conference.

The world’s first competition for Syrian entrepreneurs in the Middle East, the Startup Roadshow, has just taken off at the heart of Beirut’s innovative space, the Beirut Digital District. Twenty selected startups led by Syrian entrepreneurs are battling it out for the semi-finals of this competition, which will see 5 different bootcamps and pitching events in Amman, Erbil, Istanbul and Gaziantep, concluding in Amsterdam, where the 3 regional winners will pitch at a global event: the SPARK Ignite conference.

The competition, organized by Jusoor and SPARK in partnership with Startups Without Borders, is running its second edition, and is also incorporating 5 Startup Weekend competitions running in parallel, where entrepreneurs can gather teams and gear up to compete. Short-listed startups in Beirut include Click Shipping, an online platform to automate retail operations; Smart Budget, a program that uses artificial intelligence to adjust budgets for projects; and Bazgas, a company that produces biogas units to sell to cattle farms.

Other short-listed startups include:

– Doculife

– Learning

– Lessgo

– Jellyfish

– Markaz Maharat Al Edara,

– BeeDa,

– Himmet Shabab

– Smart Kids

– Roadride

– Tulip

– LogicGrids

– Baby’s caring.com

– Smart Balancer

– MyPlan

– Major Academy

– Woodtronic

At the end of the roadshow, two winners will move on to the regional finals, where the top 2 startups in every location will battle it out at the final Demo Day in Amman, for cash prizes of up to $15.000, while the second and third place winners will receive 10.000 and 7.000 respectively.

The winners will also get the chance to showcase their businesses on the global stage in Amsterdam, during the SPARK Ignite annual conference.

“We have been overwhelmed by the number of very interesting applications we have received and it has been an incredibly difficult process narrowing them down to select teams to participate in the Roadshow. We are excited to kick off the program in Beirut this week and have very high expectations of the innovative ideas coming from the teams,” says Grace Atkinson, Jusoor’s Executive Director.

“This year was exceptional with the outreach campaign; we’ve reached so many partners and communities, and exceeded the expectations for participants, which means there is a high demand for these kind of programs. As we head to the finals, we are very excited to see the 3 winners. We will witness the birth of a new group of Syrian entrepreneurs and startups, which will have a huge impact in the region,” says Mohammad Skaik, SPARK’s Regional Business Development Manager for the MENA region.

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Business

Arab Luxury World 2019 draws to a successful close

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The two-day conference featured interactive panel sessions and creative workshops, including keynotes by Valerie Messika, Cyrille Fabre and Prof. Moran Cerf.

  • The sessions and workshops shed light on major disruptions and innovations shaping the future of the luxury industry
  • The ‘Digital Transformation Focusing on Data and Premium Retail’ theme was of great value to the conference delegates
  • Arab Luxury World 2019 was attended by more than 500 industry leaders, luxury brands, distributors, retailers and more

The sixth edition of Arab Luxury World, the Middle East’s leading luxury business conference, has drawn to a successful conclusion at the JW Marriott Marquis Dubai, where regional and international professionals from the world of luxury gathered to explore the topic of ‘Digital Transformation Focusing on Data and Premium Retail’. The two-day conference featured a number of interactive panel sessions and creative workshops, including a keynote address by Valerie Messika, Founder and Creative Director of Messika.

Alexandre Hawari, Co-CEO of Mediaquest, commented: “This was beyond doubt one of the most informative and enlightening conferences on the business of luxury in the Middle East. Arab Luxury World 2019 raised the bar in terms of relevant dialogue by casting the spotlight on a number of buzz words from digital transformation, blockchain, omnichannel and big data, to key areas such as the talent gap, inclusion, diversity, ‘glocalization’ and Chinese consumers. The keynote sessions on bringing Neuroscience and Business together by Prof. Moran Cerf; the economic and regional outlook for the retail industry by Cyrille Fabre, Bain & Co; and the Valerie Messika interview conducted by Diala Makki, Dubai TV were the highlights of the event. It was wonderful to see the excellent turnout and the active engagement between the delegates and the speakers.”

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Events

Sharjah’s first ever film festival opens this week

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The Sharjah Art Foundation has launched its first ever film festival titled the Sharjah Film Platform (SFP), which is kicking off from 19 – 26 January. The event is set to become an annual happening, which aims to support film production across the UAE and the Middle East.

For its debut, SFP will screen over 140 films by local, regional and international filmmakers at venues across the emirate, including Mirage City Cinema, Al Mureijah Square, Al Hamriyah Studios, Al Hamriyah, Africa Hall, Al Manakh, and Al Hamra Cinema and Al Rolla.

Selected through an open call, The Sharjah Art Foundation will also offer an annual production grant of up to $30,000 (Dh110,173) for two short films by emerging filmmakers. This year, Abdulrahman Al Madani and Mohammed Al Hammadi, whose films Laymoon and Maryam, respectively, will be premiered at the festival, took home the prize.

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Events

The 15 Craziest Cars and Futuristic Vehicles of CES 2019

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CES is a dizzying experience that takes over the entire Las Vegas Strip, but within the bedlam is a mind-bending glimpse into the future of transportation. This year we saw a slew of self-driving cars, new in-car mixed reality experiences, and even a new concept car with modular robotic legs that’s as close as we’ve seen to a real-life Transformer.

There’s a flashy tech product at CES for every kind of transportation scenario, from the most futuristic science-fiction concept cars to next-gen electric vehicles and even motorcycles, not to mention last-mile solutions like electric skateboards and scooters. Many of the snazziest concept cars were focused on high-tech amenities and interiors designed to keep humans comfortable and relaxed as their autonomous car cruises.

We also came across some other eye-popping smart vehicles, like a flying drone helicopter taxi and a smart yacht. We threw those in just for fun.

Read more https://www.entrepreneur.com/slideshow/326107

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Events

CES 2019: What to Expect at the World’s Largest Tech Fair

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CES is just around the corner and like every year, the tech industry will be present in Las Vegas next week to give us a glimpse at what to expect over the 2019 and in the coming years.

Even though the big tech names like Apple, Google, and Samsung prefer to show their wares at the fancy standalone events, CES 2019 won’t be a barren land. The event is expected to be filled with the companies from all sorts of the industries like smartphones, PCs, TVs, drones, telecom, transportation, smart home, and a lot more. CES 2019 opens January 8 and will continue till January 11. The first media events however, will start from Sunday, January 6 itself.

Here’s a quick look at what we are expecting to see at CES 2019.

Read more https://gadgets.ndtv.com/mobiles/features/ces-2019-what-to-expect-at-the-worlds-largest-tech-fair-1972802?pfrom=gadgetstop

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Events

7 Steps For Having The Best Time Possible At A Concert

Suspendisse vitae purus ligula. Morbi sed diam eget dolor posuere convallis vel vel nisl. Nulla sagittis efficitur ex, at sodales massa pulvinar a. Nunc quis lacinia eros. Fusce ac ipsum gravida, tristique sed felis augue dictum nec consectetuer quis. Elementum eu arcu nunc ornare nam. Vitae libero mauris.

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Far far away, behind the word mountains, far from the countries Vokalia and Consonantia, there live the blind texts. Separated they live in Bookmarksgrove right at the coast of the Semantics, a large language ocean.

Heading H2 Example

Far far away, behind the word mountains, far from the countries Vokalia and Consonantia, there live the blind texts. Separated they live in Bookmarksgrove right at the coast of the Semantics, a large language ocean. A small river named Duden flows by their place and supplies it with the necessary regelialia.

Heading H3 Example

It is a paradisematic country, in which roasted parts of sentences fly into your mouth. Even the all-powerful Pointing has no control about the blind texts it is an almost unorthographic life One day however a small line of blind text by the name of Lorem Ipsum decided to leave for the far World of Grammar.

Heading H4 Example

The Big Oxmox advised her not to do so, because there were thousands of bad Commas, wild Question Marks and devious Semikoli, but the Little Blind Text didn’t listen. She packed her seven versalia, put her initial into the belt and made herself on the way.

Far far away, behind the word mountains, far from the countries Vokalia and Consonantia, there live the blind texts.

When she reached the first hills of the Italic Mountains, she had a last view back on the skyline of her hometown Bookmarksgrove, the headline of Alphabet Village and the subline of her own road, the Line Lane. Pityful a rethoric question ran over her cheek, then

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Events

Red Paprika To Celebrate 30 Years With A Live Tour

Ligula. Morbi sed diam eget dolor posuere convallis vel vel nisl. Nulla sagittis efficitur ex, at sodales massa pulvinar a. Nunc quis lacinia eros. Fusce ac ipsum gravida, tristique sed felis augue dictum nec consectetuer quis. Elementum eu arcu nunc ornare nam. Vitae libero mauris suspendisse vitae purus.

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Far far away, behind the word mountains, far from the countries Vokalia and Consonantia, there live the blind texts. Separated they live in Bookmarksgrove right at the coast of the Semantics, a large language ocean. Even the all-powerful Pointing has no control about the blind texts it is an almost unorthographic life One day however a small line of blind text by the name of Lorem Ipsum decided to leave for the far World of Grammar.

A small river named Duden flows by their place and supplies it with the necessary regelialia. It is a paradisematic country

The Big Oxmox advised her not to do so, because there were thousands of bad Commas, wild Question Marks and devious Semikoli, but the Little Blind Text didn’t listen. She packed her seven versalia, put her initial into the belt.

When she reached the first hills of the Italic Mountains, she had a last view back on the skyline of her hometown Bookmarksgrove, the headline of Alphabet Village and the subline of her own road, the Line Lane.

Far far away, behind the word mountains, far from the countries Vokalia and Consonantia, there live the blind texts. Separated they live in Bookmarksgrove right at the coast of the Semantics, a large language ocean. A small river named Duden flows by their place and supplies it with the necessary regelialia. It is a paradisematic country, in which roasted parts of sentences fly into your mouth.

Even the all-powerful Pointing has no control about the blind texts it is an almost unorthographic life One day however a small line of blind text by the name of Lorem Ipsum decided to leave for the far World of Grammar. The Big Oxmox advised her not to do so, because there were thousands of bad Commas, wild Question Marks and devious Semikoli, but the Little Blind Text didn’t listen.

She packed her seven versalia, put her initial into the belt and made herself on the way. When she reached the first hills of the Italic Mountains, she had a last view back on the skyline of her hometown Bookmarksgrove, the headline of Alphabet Village and the subline of her own road, the Line Lane.

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Events

LongPlay Festival Locks In James De Bruyne & More

Vitae purus ligula. Morbi sed diam eget dolor posuere convallis vel vel nisl. Nulla sagittis efficitur ex, at sodales massa pulvinar a. Nunc quis lacinia eros. Fusce ac ipsum gravida, tristique sed felis augue dictum nec consectetuer quis. Elementum eu arcu nunc ornare nam. Vitae libero mauris suspendisse.

Published

on

Far far away, behind the word mountains, far from the countries Vokalia and Consonantia, there live the blind texts. Separated they live in Bookmarksgrove right at the coast of the Semantics, a large language ocean. Even the all-powerful Pointing has no control about the blind texts it is an almost unorthographic life One day however a small line of blind text by the name of Lorem Ipsum decided to leave for the far World of Grammar.

A small river named Duden flows by their place and supplies it with the necessary regelialia. It is a paradisematic country

The Big Oxmox advised her not to do so, because there were thousands of bad Commas, wild Question Marks and devious Semikoli, but the Little Blind Text didn’t listen. She packed her seven versalia, put her initial into the belt.

When she reached the first hills of the Italic Mountains, she had a last view back on the skyline of her hometown Bookmarksgrove, the headline of Alphabet Village and the subline of her own road, the Line Lane.

Far far away, behind the word mountains, far from the countries Vokalia and Consonantia, there live the blind texts. Separated they live in Bookmarksgrove right at the coast of the Semantics, a large language ocean. A small river named Duden flows by their place and supplies it with the necessary regelialia. It is a paradisematic country, in which roasted parts of sentences fly into your mouth.

Even the all-powerful Pointing has no control about the blind texts it is an almost unorthographic life One day however a small line of blind text by the name of Lorem Ipsum decided to leave for the far World of Grammar. The Big Oxmox advised her not to do so, because there were thousands of bad Commas, wild Question Marks and devious Semikoli, but the Little Blind Text didn’t listen.

She packed her seven versalia, put her initial into the belt and made herself on the way. When she reached the first hills of the Italic Mountains, she had a last view back on the skyline of her hometown Bookmarksgrove, the headline of Alphabet Village and the subline of her own road, the Line Lane.

Continue Reading

Ecosystem of the MENA

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