Programme - 18 November - Content

  • 10:30 12:00

    Registration & Welcoming

  • 12:00 12:15

    Opening Ceremony

  • 12:15 12:45

    Welcoming Speech & Opening Keynote

  • 12:45 12:55

    Industry Insights

  • 12:55 13:40

    Keynote panel: The Next Big Thing in Future Media

    The Media & Entertainment industry has been buffeted by the digital wave—a swath of creative destruction that consumed thousands of jobs, even as it created thousands of jobs that hadn’t existed before.

    What’s next? It is likely to show up first in the emerging world, where the most cutting-edge tech gets deployed without regard to all that came before it. Two billion more people will go online in the next five years, most of them outside Europe and the U.S. No media enterprise will go untouched by the next tech wave, and the pace of change will only accelerate.

    Our panelists discuss the future and the next big thing.

  • 13:40 14:20


  • 14:20 15:20

    CNN Segment: From the Arab Spring to the Summer of Reckoning: The Transformative Role of Social Media in the Middle East

    Social media is intrinsically connected to events in the modern Middle East, in good times and bad. During the events of the Arab Spring, we witnessed how the transformative power of social media platforms helped unleash movements that have forever changed the regional status quo. Nearly four years later, the collective and interactive qualities of social media are once again being employed by groups such as ISIS that also want to undermine the status quo, albeit for regressive rather than progressive objectives. So why is social media such an attractive tool for movements of all types here in the Middle East? What are the qualities unique to social media that are attractive to a grassroots activist in Tunis and an extremist fighter in Raqaa alike?

  • 15:20 15:40

    Digital Disruptor: The Future of Mobile

  • 15:40 16:30

    Panel: The Need for Speed in MENA: Mobile Operators Talk Next Gen Systems and Smartphones

    Investment opportunities abound in the Middle East and North Africa, the second-largest mobile market in the world. And so do the challenges. Mobile in MENA is becoming the key place for media and content consumption (and connection); in 2013 smartphones passed the 110-million mark, doubling in a year. As this wireless wave sweeps across MENA markets, companies must adapt their content, acquire or partner with upstarts and devise new ways to finance their efforts to stay out in front of the fast-changing MENA mediascape. This session will explore the opportunities and challenges for businesses in MENA adapting to a mobile centric environment and advice for navigating what lies ahead.

  • 16:30 17:30

    Panel: From Hollywood to Bollywood, is Arabwood next?

    Arab cinema has been experiencing a lot of recognition worldwide in recent times, not least of all because of this year’s three academy award nominations. As emerging Arab filmmakers continue to produce films with the main aim of entertaining and achieving commercial success, the international industry is sitting up and taking notice. The birth of Bollywood, resulted in the world’s biggest film industry, producing approximately double the number of films that come out of Hollywood. While the Arab world has far to go, there is a huge market hungry for this content. How do we successfully continue to feed and finance this growing industry? How does Arab film take the next step up?

  • 17:30 18:00

    Keynote Conversation

    • Mark Thompson Mark Thompson President and Chief Executive Officer, The New York Times Company
    • Martin Newland Martin Newland Journalist; Advisor, Abu Dhabi Media (Moderator)
  • 18:00 18:15

    Closing Remarks

  • 20:00 23:00


Programme - 19 November - Distribution

  • 9:00 9:15

    Opening Remarks

  • 9:15 9:30

    Facebook Segment: Build, Grow, Monetise: A Strategy for Success in the Connected World

  • 09:30 10:30

    Panel: Wired Women

    Technology and social media are transforming the lives of women around the globe. By embracing both, a new generation of Wired Women is moving to the forefront of social, economic and political change. The changes are most dramatic in the Middle East, where an entire gender has found a new and powerful voice. New research will be unveiled on the connected lives of women in MENA economies and the transformative power that new technology has bestowed on them.

  • 10:30 10:45

    Digital Disruptor: The Business of Gaming

  • 10:45 11:15

    Coffee break

  • 11:15 11:45

    Interview: They Got Game: The Next Generation

    Mobile and social gaming is on a tremendous rise across the Middle East, driven by a young, wireless population and the spread of the smartphone. The gaming sector in the Middle East racks up annual sales of up to $2.6 billion, and the number of people downloading games has doubled in less than four years. That offers new opportunities for existing games to be tailored to the market with Arabic voice-overs, and for the creation of new games aimed expressly at MENA millennials. For brands, it is a new chance to connect with engaged consumers and connect with their audience in the social realm. Brands can now offer rewards for consumers who engage with them, adding a quid pro quo to the experience. And in many “virtual games,” such as Farmville, brands are able to actually integrate themselves, creating a deeper and more meaningful experience.

  • 11:45 12:30

    Panel: The Media in MENA: Localizing and Monetizing Content

    While Silicon Valley innovates, MENA motivates and integrates, adopting and deploying new tech invented elsewhere and attracting global content creators that can localize their wares to better monetize them in this market. Rapid wireless growth and a fast-rising younger, Gen-Y customer base are attractive features for luring international investment in the latest infrastructure, unencumbered by stubborn and costly legacy systems. And once over five billion people have supercomputers at their fingertips, “the network effect” goes into overdrive, and new innovation can happen anywhere. Our panelists discuss the future of global media and, in particular, what this will mean for the Middle Eastern marketplace.

    • Sanjay Rania Sanjay Rania General Manager, MENA, Fox International Channels
    • Amira Rashad Amira Rashad Former Head of Media, Yahoo Middle East, Africa and Turkey
    • Rashed Al Harmoodi Rashed Al Harmoodi Creator, Mansour Cartoon; Vice President, Mubadala Corporate Communications
    • Robert Knežević Robert Knežević Senior Vice President International Group, Sesame Workshop
    • Shahid Khan Shahid Khan Managing Partner, MAG (Meridian Advisory Group, LLC); Co-Founder, Chairman of the Board, MediaMorph, Inc. (Moderator)
  • 12:30 13:00

    Interview: The Future of Broadcasting

  • 13:00 14:00


  • 14:00 14:30

    Keynote speech: The Next Big Thing for Big Screen

  • 14:30 14:40

    Presentation: The Future of the Television Audience

  • 14:40 15:40

    Re-imagining Television - From Social to Second Screen

    The future of all video is getting smaller—smaller screens watched by millions of smartphone viewers. Especially in the Middle East, the young are riveted to their mobile screens; to entertain them, that’s where you must go. Time spent on the internet, has now overtaken television in terms of the amount of time the average person spends with each medium daily. Facebook has over 30 million daily users in the region. In Kuwait, 97% of 15-to-35-year-olds go on the Internet every day. Online video and the rise of the second screen are massively disrupting traditional TV channels. Panelists divine the future of television and opportunities to profit on delivering it. We’ll take a deep dive into how operators are going to monetize content.

  • 15:40 16:00

    Digital Disruptor: The Next Level of Content

  • 16:00 16:20

    Coffee Break

  • 16:20 16:30

    Digital Disruptor: The Democratization of Video

  • 16:30 16:50

    Digital Disruptor: Social Media and the Music Biz

  • 16:50 17:30

    Sky News Arabia Segment: Combatting Content Piracy in the Digital Age

    The business of piracy is a costly one for companies and governments alike. Across the entertainment industry millions of dollars of revenue is lost and governments are threatened when their countries are no longer seen as a safe place for investment. As coalitions form and government and business, particularly in the UAE, unite to wage a war on pirates, action is beginning to be taken. But how can this epidemic be tackled effectively? Can they really beat the pirates and win? And how do you inform the public of the huge ramifications of piracy and enforce change when so much content is accessible free of charge?

  • 17:30 18:20

    Series of presentations: The Media and Millennials

    Across emerging economies millennials are coming of age during a unique time - many emerging markets have experienced rapid growth, the fallout of a global economic slowdown, globalization and of course the dawn of the digital age. During this session we will hear from a number of individuals across different sectors. They will examine how digital natives are changing the business of media, what we can expect to see in different sectors and what is on the horizon.

  • 18:20 18:30

    Closing Remarks

Programme - 20 November - Financing

  • 09:30 09:40

    Opening Remarks

  • 09:40 09:50

    Keynote speech: Investment Strategies for the Middle East

  • 09:50 10:50

    Panel: The Future of Tech Investment – A Digital Feeding Frenzy

    For the money men behind the revolution, it is the best of times— global investment and deal-making in the technology, media and telecom industries is "off to the strongest start since 2000." The digital revolution provides many exciting new opportunities for VC investment but its not always obvious where to make the early-stage bets. During this session our panel of expert VCs will present what they are seeing on the horizon, how the ecosystem is evolving and what this means for the landscape and where the smart money is going.

  • 10:50 11:20

    Coffee Break

  • 11:20 11:50

    Panel: A Race for the Exits: The Rebound in IPOs and Dealmaking

    The Middle East has been among the slowest regions to rebound after the global meltdown of 2008. But things are looking up. Investors and banks have regained their appetite for risk. Private-equity investors are doing more bank-financed deals. A handful of firms are listing their stocks on the London exchange. The UAE and Qatar stock markets have been lifted to emerging-market status, and the Saudi Arabian stock market—the Talawud—suddenly is a hotbed for regional IPOs. Some 16 PE funds raised almost $900 million in the Middle East and North Africa last year, more than double the sum raised the year before. At the center of the action is one big change: After the 2008 crisis, PE funds couldn’t “exit” their investments by selling off companies or staging IPOs, as dealmaking dried up. While exits still remain a challenge for the MENA region, exits are now everywhere, whether by IPO or by strategic sale to multinationals and U.S. PE funds searching for MENA investments. Panelists will handicap obstacles to exiting and the way out.

  • 11:50 12:30

    Panel: Accelerating Start-Ups

    Innovation likes to live in clusters. It’s what made Silicon Valley and spawned start-up colonies in big cities around the world, often aided and abetted by government policies aimed at encouraging growth. What lessons learned in the West could accelerate similar efforts to innovate in the markets of the Middle East? How do we continue to enable these entrepreneurial ecosystems to form and grow? Our panel of experts have a few ideas.

  • 12:30 13:10

    From Global to Local – A Start-up Battle

    In this session two different companies in the same space, one global and one local, will share their knowledge of how they approached launching their business in the Middle East. We will learn the difference between how an international company approached the region vs. how the locals did it.

  • 13:10 13:40

    Financing the Next Wave of Innovation

  • 13:40 14:00

    Closing Keynote

Programme - 20 November - Workshops

  • 14:30 17:00

    Flat6labs Abu Dhabi Workshop: Monetizing Digital Content

    In the past few years, several regional players have launched successful digital content companies, finding ways to scale quickly and monetize via channels like YouTube. Yet challenges remain, when it comes to distribution, monetization, and protecting IP.

    How can we make it easier for content creators to be successful?

  • 14:30 17:00

    Flat6labs Abu Dhabi Workshop: Growing Online Education

    To scale education systems, innovators are turning to the internet, putting courseware online and building new products to reach a broader audience or augment existing education programs. Yet the challenges are large-- revenue models for many online products haven’t been proven, and it can be difficult to measure the value of online learning as compared to that in the classroom.

    How can we scale the reach of existing education programs?