Google Days coming to UAE in October
G-UAE event aims to build local developer and business community
Google will bring its Google Days event to the UAE in October, to help raise awareness of its products and to help build the entrepreneurial community in the region.
The G-UAE Days will be held on 19th and 20th October in Dubai, and will bring together businesses, developers, and Google experts for demonstrations and previews of Google products, to encourage people to develop more online activity.
Ari Kesisoglu, managing director of Google Middle East and North Africa told itp.net: "[Google Days] allows us to the bring latest technology in the world to the region, get people into doing things online, help them and give them ideas and inspiration."
Google Days have already been held in Jordan and Egypt, in December last year, and in Saudi Arabia this March.
Kesisoglu says that typically the events are oversubscribed, and that the event provides an outlet for local talent to gain exposure which it might not normally have.
Google has been working to deliver tools to political activists in Egypt, ahead of parliamentary elections there in October or November. While Google is not promoting any particular agenda, the company says that by providing tools like YouTube that can be used to aggregate content and enable online debate, it aims to open dialogue and the democratic process in a country where the political process was previously closed.
"Egypt went from shutting down the net, to having political people sharing their thoughts on YouTube," Kesisoglu added.
Google has also recently brought its Google Campus Ambassador Programme to the region, which trains university students on Google products, so that they can show fellow students how they can utilize Google solutions in their studies and other activities. In August, 136 ambassadors from across the MENA region attending training in August, as part of their one-year programme.
The company is also working on a programme, similar to announced in the UK recently, to increase the number of companies in Saudi Arabia that have a web presence. Currently, only 15% of Saudi businesses have an online presence, and Google aims to increase this by providing free consultation and tools to businesses in Saudi, to help them understand how they can use the web to gain actual business benefits.