Noura Al Kaabi, CEO, twofour54, wrapped up the 2014 edition of the Abu Dhabi Media Summit by telling delegates that with 7 billion connected individuals forecast by 2020, the media and e-commerce industry may soon be managers of the world’s largest and most relevant “mall”. The speech provided an optimistic conclusion to a third and final day of discussions between industry leaders and innovators.
Al Kaabi praised the high calibre and diversity of the speakers, and encouraged all ADMS guests to play their part in driving and sustaining a future media in MENA and beyond.
Al Kaabi said: “I believe the Abu Dhabi Media Summit is a clear example of how we are all helping to build a positive profile of the Arab World. The future is bright and within the grasp of young people in the Middle East and everywhere.”
Earlier in the afternoon, a panel entitled “A Race for the Exits: The Rebound in IPOs and Dealmaking” saw speakers encouraging investors to look beyond tangible assets such as real estate and instead consider IPOs in the fast-growing technology sector.
Co-founder and managing director, CedarBridge, Imad Ghandour, said that “given the stability of local currencies and continuous growth of industries, the GCC has a great recipe for success”, while Mona DeFrawi, founder and managing partner, IPOQuest Partners, explained that “technology IPOs have high growth momentum and the ability to grow globally.”
Tom Urquhart, a presenter with Dubai One, moderated the next panel on “Accelerating Start-Ups”, which looked at the challenges for new technology businesses in Abu Dhabi and beyond.
The final session of ADMS 2014 was an interview between Badr Jafar, Managing Director, Crescent Group and Fadi Ghandour, Founder and Vice Chairman, Aramex, on the challenges facing innovators in raising finance in the MENA region. Ghandour remarked that “innovation is the ability to take pieces of knowledge and use them to affect people’s lives – the process requires a symbiotic relationship between innovators and industry”.
Ghandour stressed that the Arab world had to adopt more of a solutions-based mentality and do more to provide the financial and legal structures needed to support business.