Facebook to host an event for entrepreneurs in Dubai this Thursday

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Facebook is hosting its first major event in the Middle East this week, with the launch of FbStart, which will reveal tips and tricks for leveraging Facebook for marketing and exposure.

The event, designed for app developers, promises "to help rapidly growing, leading start-ups and VC backed companies in the Middle East accelerate user growth, engagement and ultimately drive greater business results," by revealing how to target users in Newsfeed, how to work with Mobile App Ads, and how to use Parse, the mobile app backend platform that Facebook acquired.

Given that Facebook's profits are surging thanks to its mobile ad growth, and smartphone penetration in the UAE is one of the highest in the world, at 63% last year, according to Google, and the UAE boasts the highest percentage of Facebook users in the Middle East, at 42% of the population, it's about time for the social network to plant a flag in the Middle East.

The program, which runs from 2:30 pm to 7:00pm, promises talks from Nicola Mendelsohn, Vice President Facebook EMEA, Jonathan Labin, Head of Facebook MENA, Julien Codorniou, Director of Platform Partnerships EMEA, and Narain Jashanmal, Facebook's new Client Partner in MENA, among other Facebook staff; Wamda's Chairman, Fadi Ghandour, and Ronaldo Mouchawar of Souq, along with Eddy Farhat of MarkaVIP, will also be speaking on the final panel.

Those who are interested can register here, and read the below post by Julien Codorniou:


What does it take to turn a good idea into a great business?  At Facebook we believe there are three challenges that all entrepreneurs face on the road to success: they need to Build, Grow and Monetize their application or service.  Without addressing each of these, even the most innovative company will falter or fail. 

Facebook’s own success comes when our partners do well and companies such as Spotify, Hailo, Skyscanner and King - the maker of Candy Crush Saga - have all made Facebook a major part of their business model.

To help them we have developed our platform and marketing products to better support the goals of Build, Grow and Monetize.   

For those looking to build an application on web or mobile there is Parse, the Facebook-owned company that offers off-the-shelf back-end services that almost all developers need such as push notifications, cloud storage and analytics.  By using Parse’s products, startups can focus their limited people and resources on perfecting their app’s core functionality. Parse is used around the world by small developers to large corporations such as Cisco and Cadillac.

As businesses grow they need to find an audience and Facebook offers access to more than 1.2 billion people around the world.  However, mass-reach is just part of our offering. Developers can target precisely the people that matter to them, whether that is men aged 18-24 who live in Dubai or everyone in the world who likes cars and video games.

In addition to Facebook’s targeting ability, products such as Mobile App Install Ads have proved extremely effective at driving people from their news feed to Google and Apple’s App Stores.

Facebook is now responsible for 735 million referrals every day to games alone - a number that explains why developers are so keen to harness its power.

No business can sustain without making money and the revenue share offered by Facebook to developers building apps on Facebook.com paid out more than $2.1bn in 2013.

Facebook’s offering for developers is constantly evolving and it is important that startups get the most up-to-date information on new tools and techniques that can help them Build, Grow and Monetize.  Our FbStart programme of face-to-face events  is designed to give that support.  The half-day ‘masterclass’ covers a range of topics from using Facebook login and push notifications to advertising apps in newsfeed.

When FbStart comes to ArtSawa in Dubai this Thursday, March 27th, guests will also hear from a panel of experts who will share their experience of using Facebook and reflect on its role in the Middle East’s startup ecosystem.  Panelists include Ronaldo Mouchawar, CEO of Souq.com, Eddy Farhat, CSO of MarkaVIP and Wamda chairman Fadi Ghandour.

Throughout the event we will be sharing  success stories from our partners - many of whom started using Facebook after they attended similar sessions in the past.  Our goal is that the next wave of case studies will come from audience members at this week’s event.

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