8 tech conferences in the Middle East to attend in 2014

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Tech conferences in the Middle East have contributed to the success of several startups Wamda has covered over the past few months, including online interactive health database Sohati, whose co-founders were inspired to quit their day jobs (with a little help from Wamda) at a 2012 Startup Weekend in Beirut. Conferences like StartupWeekend and Arabnet can help new entrepreneurs distill their ideas, with input from media and successful businesspeople. Focused roundtables also help people with established companies push their businesses forward. Wherever you are in your business, a tech conference may be just the ticket to get inspired for your next phase.

Here are a few can’t-miss regional conferences – and a few that are a bit farther afield – that are going on in 2014:

Startup Turkey: 20-22 February, Antalya, Turkey

75 startup founders in all stages, 150 investors, 700 total attendees will converge on Antalya for pitches, networking, talks, and a “wonderful” closing party. Click here to request an invitation to attend.

ArabNet: 4-6 March, Beirut, Lebanon

One of the classic tech conference-competitions in the Arab world, ArabNet is back in 2014, with some new perks on offer. Not only are entrepreneurs working in media, entertainment, social entrepreneurship, fashion, ‘creative communities’, and more welcome at this event, ArabNet now offers a Design+Code Day helping developers and designers “hone and develop” their skills, and meet like-minded individuals. Check out Wamda’s coverage of ArabNet Beirut 2013, and click here to register.

MENA ICT Forum: 6-7 March, Dead Sea, Jordan

This is a conference aimed at people looking to make partnerships in both public and private sectors, rather than entrepreneurs just starting out. Click here for more registration information.

World Economic Forum on Europe, MENA, and Eurasia: 27-29 April, Istanbul, Turkey

Looking to strengthen transnational ties, this conference is ideal for those looking to scale their business to another part of the world.

Webrazzi Summit 2014: 25 September, Istanbul, Turkey

Turkey’s most influential digital event, the 2013 edition hosted 1,500 participants, 541 companies, 10 hours of programming, 37 sessions, and 73 speakers. Organizers claim 2014 will be even bigger. Startups at all stages, from all over the world, are welcome to apply.

Webit Congress: November, Istanbul, Turkey

2013’s Webit Congress – again, covered by Wamda – attracted over 8,000 attendees from more than 103 countries. The sheer number of tech conferences taking place in Istanbul last year, Webit being one of the most prestigious, has cementing its resurgence as the crossroads of the world. This will likely only contrinue in 2014. 

Rise Up Summit: November, Cairo, Egypt

Exact dates will be announced at a later date, but this remains an important event where Egypt’s future business leaders convene regardless of socio-political turmoil. Check out Wamda’s coverage of the 2013 Rise Up Summit.

Global Entrepreneurship Week: November 17-23, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, UAE,  Yemen, Palestine, Oman, Lebanon, Kuwait, Jordan, Bahrain, and Armenia.

This worldwide conference – one week in November – sees 138 countries worldwide participating in workshops, roundtables, and expert talks.  

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