Dubai selected to host WAN-Ifra conference

Sheikh Zayed Road (File)

Dubai has been selected to host WAN-Ifra's, annual Middle East Conference this year on March 12-13.

Wan-Ifra is the global organisation of the world’s newspapers and news publishers.

Registration is underway and the event organisers have such strong support from both the region’s media houses as well as the Dubai Government. Dubai is an attractive and important setting for this conference with the number of participants increasing with each event.

This year’s speakers will include: Patrick Daniel, Editor-in-Chief, English & Malay Newspapers, Singapore Press Holding; Benjamin Gajkowski, Project Manager at Germany’s Die Welt, owned by Axel Springer; Jonathan Halls, Adjunct Professor, The George Washington University and Principal, Jonathan Halls & Associates, USA; Manfred Werfel, Deputy CEO, WAN-IFRA, Germany;  DD Purkayastha, Managing Director & CEO, ABP Pvt Ltd, India; Matt Kelly, Publishing Consultant, Cases i Associats, UK; Ed Capaldi, CEO & Founder Ed Capaldi LLC; Mohammed Fahad Alharthi, Editor-in-Chief of Sayidaty, Al Jamila and Arab News; P.K. Philip, Chief General Manager, Works, Malayala manorama; Rob Hedges, Associate Managing Editor, The Sun, News UK, United Kingdom; Anand Srinivasan Research Engineer, WAN-Ifra, India, and many others.

A welcome speech will be given during the opening ceremony by Princess Rym Ali, who holds a degree from Columbia University’s School of Journalism.

As the largest tourist destination in the Middle East, Dubai welcomes more than 7.5 million visitors each year who are drawn by a wide array of events and attractions, such as the architecture, which includes the world’s tallest man-made structure, the Burj Khalifa.

Commenting on the last year’s edition, Abdulatif Al Mahmoud, CEO, Dar Al Sharq, Qatar, said: “We believe the participation in the Forum will provide a golden opportunity for publishers from our region to keep themselves updated about the latest developments in the industry. Media is going through phenomenal growth in the Middle East, and it’s important that we stay connected and learn from the experiences of titans in the field. The Forum will create a platform for interaction with market leaders from all over the world and also will inform us of the most modern technologies available in the field, like editing and publishing programs in addition to administrative support programs such as subscriptions management, marketing and advertising management, and customer service programs.”

Saleh Alhumaidan, Managing Director, Al Yaum Media House, Dammam, Saudi Arabia, said: “One of the major events organized by a burgeoning publishing industry in the Middle East, the Middle East Conference has come to represent the ‘event of the year’ which every major media company and influential business leaders in the region aspire to attend.  Annually held in the bustling city of Dubai in the first quarter of each year, the event has gained traction among publishing executives and other media personnel across the globe with its ability to draw large crowds.

“Each successive year has surpassed the previous, setting ever higher expectations and standards for future events or other similar events in the industry. The range of issues covered in this event and the quality of discussions about both the challenges as well as the opportunities available to the industry are second to none, and have cemented the Conference’s position in the region as a ‘not-to-be-missed’ event. Since its beginnings a little more than eight years ago, the Middle East Conference has acted as the venue for addressing the pressing challenges facing the publishing industry and a breeding ground for innovative thinking and business model development. No doubt, participants have benefited from the professional interaction and networking opportunities which this event provides.”

Saleh Aldowais, Managing Director, Alkhaleejiah Advertising & Public Relation Co., said: “Last year’s Middle East WAN-IFRA conference was really an opportunity to bridge some of interesting latest inventions, ideas, and different visions between media and publishing executives. It included very interesting strategies that benefits our scope of industry delivered by prominent and renowned experts from different parts of the world and Middle East region as well. It was a networking opportunity that brought up-to-date information and knowledge which included latest trends in digital media worldwide showing ways to succeed in the digital world; and how to extend reach with mobile editions and tablets.

“The conference also reflected to the world (through participation of experts from the region) the up-to-date situation of publishing industry progress in the region; reflecting the potentiality of business improvement of the digital and print market and how publishing business is moving forward in the Middle East region.”

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