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ArabNet Digital Summit 2017, the large-scale technology conference organized by ArabNet in partnership with Smart Dubai Office and Publicis Media, attracted the MENA tech world in droves registering over 1,600 attendees, 120 speakers, and 60 exhibitors for the event held on May 16-17, 2017 in Dubai. This year, the fifth edition of the flagship conference packed four different forums within it titled: digital commerce, smart economy, adtech, and innovation & investment. As part of these tracks, the two-day summit featured talks on topics including emerging trends and opportunities in e-commerce, MENA digital payments, tech developments in publishing businesses, smart cities, and future of transportation among others.
In line with ArabNet’s objectives to focus on MENA entrepreneurship ecosystem, ArabNet Digital Summit 2017 saw the launch of the second edition of The State of Digital Investments in MENA (2013-2016) report published jointly by ArabNet and Dubai SME. In a bid to reward innovative startups, the Summit also featured the ArabNet Startup Championship challenge, where eighteen of MENA’s startups from Riyadh, Dubai, Beirut, Kuwait, Cairo, and Casablanca pitched their businesses. Sihatech, a Saudi Arabia-based healthcare startup emerged as the winner, bagging $20,000 in cash and various rewards in kind. For the second consecutive year, the Summit also hosted the finale of the Smartpreneur competition, organized by Dubai Chamber and Smart Dubai Office, where cars marketplace startup FriendyCar won first place.