ArabNet’s signature event, the ArabNet Digital Summit, was held in Dubai this year and had brought together over 100 speakers and 900 attendees in the 3 day conference (June 24-26). An arena where digital professionals and entrepreneurs in the MENA region gathered, the event took place in one of Dubai’s highlighted attractions, the Atlantis Hotel in Dubai’s Palm Island.

The MENA region is one of the fastest growing regions in the digital sector, and the summit didn’t fail to transmit the development and future of the digital industry in the region. Keynote speakers focused on the growing sector of smartphones, the increased role social media plays in the relationship between brands and consumers, and new ways of purchasing products online with e-commerce focused discussions.

Within each day, the summit focused on various factors in the digital business industry:

Day 1 of the event focused on a “Startup Track” where entrepreneurs had the chance to meet investors and possibly create the next big thing.

Day 2 continued with an “Industry Track” that focused on digital opportunities in diverse sectors such as education and banking.

Day 3, held a “Developer Tournament Championship”, where the audience was introduced to the experience competitors from the MENA region had and where they got to show off their coding skills.

Between 24th – 27th of June there were 3,469 Twitter mentions about ArabNet Digital Summit 2013 in the UAE, those mentions received an estimated 6.2 million Impressions. Below are some of the topics discussed during the Summit as seen on Twitter:

Most retweeted:

1- @ArabNetME: Want to join #ArabNetME but can’t attend? Don’t worry! The event will be broadcasting live on (53 RT).

2- @2454ibtikar: Arabic is the fastest growing language on social media worldwide – 73 percent of tweets from #MENA are in #Arabic! #ArabNetME (49 RT)

3- @nagham: ‘No one likes ads’. Not true; no one likes *crap* ads. Marketers, get your sh*t together & give ppl something worth watching. #ArabnetME (8 RT)

4- @lindseymcd: LinkedIn has over 5 million members in the MENA region. UAE is the biggest regional market with 1 million member’s #ArabNetME (7 RT)

5- 30 million Internet users 16% penetration 120 million mobile subscribers #pakistan#arabnetme 70% of people under 30 (4 RT)

Top Influencers Discussing #ArabNetME:

@Lara (149,984 followers)

@emkwan (33,120 followers)

@DanaAbulaban (11,502 followers)

@DubaiWriter (10,144 follower)

@Kuzbari (3,021 followers)

Key Topics of Twitter Conversation:

E-Commerce: Attendees discussed and shared how online sales are growing rapidly in the MENA region & also discussed stats on how Users are becoming increasingly comfortable buying over the Internet.

@ArabianGazette: Regional e-commerce grows by a staggering 190% #middleeast#ecommerce#ArabNetME

@TheManalyst: Really excited for the#travel#eCommerce panel… Travel enthusiasts, you should be in Hall B! #Arabnetme

@medhatkaram #ArabNetME 6% of US retail business is e-Commerce.

@lindseymcd: Have to make sure building blocks are in place. Paypal says only 15% of companies have websites in the MENA region #justsaying #ArabNetME

Social Media: Panels discussed how social media is a vital part of every brand’s online strategy and discussed social media advertising, research, stats & study cases.

@lindseymcd: LinkedIn growing by 2 people a second globally #ArabNetME

@iLady_B SO the answer to educating clients on social advertising DOES mean SALES is listening, monitoring & building awareness #ArabNetME

@OTSDC With search engine ads currently influencing 20 per cent of product selection made by regional consumers #ArabNetME

@Royal_Kareem #Facebook is talking a lot about social & business at #ArabNetME 2013 – I sense a big drive towards the business community coming from FB

@9aa around 60% of Internet users in Iran are using Facebook (via VPN). #ArabNetME

@Moeys An average Emirati user is a fan of 43 pages on Facebook @JanRezab, CEO @SocialBakers#arabnetme

@TheOnlineProj ”Facebook engagement in MENA increases 30% in Ramadan.” – @zaferyounis, #ArabNetME

Media & Advertising : Digital has changed the way users consume and interact with media and advertising.

@2454ibtikar: It’s estimated that 126 billion dollars will be spent on online advertising in 2013 #ArabnetME

@meredithtuqan Technology is becoming so core to the creative process, it’s fundamentally changing advertising agencies - @youseftuqan #ArabNetME

Mobile : Conversations centered on smartphone penetration and usage in the Middle East, and especially the GCC countries & how mobiles and tablets increasingly become the primary point of connection to the internet.

@lindseymcd: Mobile and desktop are complementary platforms. Both used at different times #ArabNetME

@GamifiedLabs: ”Both mobiles and websites are being used by the same user. We shouldn’t focus on just mobile and overlook desktop” -M.M. #ArabNetME

@GamifiedLabs Smart phones are now extensions of our hands #ArabNetME #SmartPhones

@ArabNetME Nokia is still popular in countries with lower median incomes #arabnetme

@lindseymcd KSA stat: 65% of the population is under the age of 35. There is 65% smartphone penetration in the country #ArabNetME

Recruitment: Conversations discussed the improvement and impact online recruitment have achieved.

@lindseymcd: Strong interest from brands to own a group on LinkedIn. This allows them to position themselves as an expert or provider etc #ArabNetME

@KhalidKhouri Only 20% of the 250 million candidates on #LinkedIn are looking for a job; the other 80% are just updating profiles. #ArabNetME

@eureecamoment #Employment has become more fluid. People don’t stay in a job for 5 years, rather they switch up to 4 jobs in 1 year ( @odesk ) #ArabNetME