Twitter to open office in Dubai

Twitter is massively popular in the region, with Saudi Arabia, Egypt and UAE having the largest number of users

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Twitter announced on Wednesday plans to set up an office in Dubai, the social media platform’s first in the Middle East and North Africa.

Shailesh Rao, Twitter’s vice president of Asia Pacific, Latin America and Emerging Markets, made the announcement during the ongoing Arab Social Media Influencers Summit in Dubai.

“Mena is a key strategic market for us and our new Dubai office will serve as the focal point to help our development across the region,” Shailesh Rao said during the summit.

“Dubai is a regional hub for many brands and advertising agencies and we are excited to build a team on the ground here who can work with partners directly, helping them get the most out of Twitter,” he added.

Rao also made the announcement on Twitter.

The social media micro-blogging platform is massively popular in the region, with Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the UAE having the largest number of users.

The number of active Twitter users in the region has grown steadily to 5.8 million at the last count last year 2014 by the Arab Social Media Report, while worldwide there are about 288 million monthly active users, according to Twitter.

Organized by UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and the Ruler of Dubai Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, ASMIS has brought together social media experts from Arab countries and across the world.

According to a statement from the Dubai government’s media office, Sheikh Mohammed has decided to turn ASMIS into an annual event, in response to the big reception and level of participation this year.

Mohammed Abdullah Al Gergawi, the chairman of the Executive Office of Sheikh Mohammed and chairman of the Organizing Committee for ASMIS, said the directions of Sheikh Mohammed reflected the Dubai leader’s conviction in the importance social media played in producing positive change in the lives of people and bolstering the value of constructive dialogue as central in bringing together Arab and world societies.

Gergawi stressed the need to broaden the scope of ASMIS and include additional items and innovative initiatives aimed at expanding participation and shedding light on the key subjects and issues related to social media and attract a greater number of experts and decision makers to future events.