Google hosts giant techno event in Saudi
Jeddah, March 25, 2012
Google organised a two-day technology event, g|saudi arabia, in association with the King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) and its technology incubator program Badir.
The company said the move was part of its ongoing drive to support the growth of local Saudi talent.
With a significant rise in registrations from last year, the event brought together software developers, webmasters, IT & business professionals, tech entrepreneurs, and university students for two days of training and workshops around the future of innovation in Saudi, and how Google’s suite of products is a major driving force behind that innovation.
Abdulrahman Tarabzouni, the head of Emerging Arabia at Google said, 'The internet has created millions of jobs around the world some of which are here in the Kingdom; but there is a lot more potential.'
Google, he said, believes there is a huge opportunity for every Saudi to start or transform their business on the web to reach rapid growth levels that were not possible in the past.
'With our technology event g|saudi arabia, we reinforce our commitment to fostering and empowering the Saudi talent and contributing to the growth of the economy,' Tarabzouni added.
In response to unprecedented popularity of YouTube in the Kingdom which has shown a 260 per cent rise in views over last year, Google held a special session on Sunday to discuss the magical opportunities on the popular online video platform with local stars including Fahad AlButairi, Omar Hussein, Malik Nejer and Kaswara Al-Khatib.
This year g|saudi arabia also brought Nelson Mattos, the VP, EMEA product and engineering, and Ammar Ibrahim, the product manager, for Mena region in addition to a team of more than 45 Googlers who flew in from across the world to give a range of sessions on specialized products and subjects.
Mattos said Google wants the web to be a better place and aims to help increase and improve the quality of the content that is locally relevant to Saudis.
'We know we can’t do this on our own and that why we are back with g|saudi arabia, Google’s biggest event of the year to actively engage with the Kingdom’s tech community who will be building the next-generation of web applications,' he stated.
The first day's sessions included several tracks on Google’s developer tools and technologies related to both web and mobile applications.
Google engineers and web-development experts guided attendees through a full day of in-depth sessions, including hands-on workshops, dedicated to cutting-edge web and mobile technologies.
The key topics included mobile development, Google+, Google APIs, Google Translate & Translator Toolkit, Chrome, and Webmaster tools.
The second day offered sessions and workshops with product demos aimed at entrepreneurs, business professionals and university students.
The goal is to help spur innovation and business growth in Saudi Arabia and across the region, inspiring businesses to make the most of the web and mobile. Sessions included innovation at Google, AdWords and AdSense, said the Google official.
The second day also included a panel session on Entrepreneurship & Innovation with the participation of renowned entrepreneurs both from the region and Silicon Valley, to share their experiences and success stories with the participants.
The speakers include Barig Siraj, the CEO of ICTVentures, Saad Khan, the partner at the CMEA and Oleg Kaganovich, the director of New Ventures (King Abdullah University of Science and Technology).
Google has been active in Saudi both through outreach activities and local product launches. Just last week, Google held Arabia 2012 in Riyadh gathering over 120 senior government and business leaders from the Kingdom.-TradeArabia News Service