Technology to drive economies into digital powerhouses

Khalid al Rumaihi

Manama: Technological advancements are revolutionising the way we do business and transforming our economies into digital powerhouses, says Khalid Rumaihi, CEO, Economic Development Board (EDB).

Mr Rumaihi was speaking as the Kingdom of Bahrain is gearing up to hold “unbound Bahrain”, a two-day festival to celebrate the most innovative start-ups in the GCC region.
The event will be taking place in Bahrain from 7-8 March 2018 at the Bahrain International Circuit.

The festival is being organised by “unbound”, which specialises in global innovation events, and is being held in association with Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB) and supported by “Startup Bahrain”.

“Start-ups are playing a crucial role in driving this transformation, and in Bahrain, we are working hard to put in place a supportive ecosystem that will encourage the innovation the region needs,” adds Mr Rumaihi.

“Events such as those organised by “unbound” are important platforms for discussing industry trends and for sharing the latest new products, solutions and services that will support long-term economic growth. We are delighted to be the partner for the first “unbound” festival to be held in the GCC.”

“unbound Bahrain” will be part of StartupBahrain week and is expected to attract 1000 regional entrepreneurs, who will have the opportunity to meet with leading innovators and explore over 100 emerging technologies, products and services from across the region.

The festival will bring together fifty influential speakers from fintech, adtech, travel, e-commerce and more, for two days of panels and keynote speeches. Sessions will highlight the latest trends supporting the transition to a digital economy, as well as the creation of a supportive environment for innovation and e-commerce in the Gulf, the role that governments play in innovation, reaching the connected consumer and the future of finance. The festival will also feature a Female Founders Startup Challenge, startup-investor pitching, exhibitions and hackathons.

“Having helped fuel innovation ecosystems around the world over the past five years, I recognise the opportunity for growth of the knowledge economy of the Gulf and believe the kingdom to be an important strategic gateway for the region,” says Daniel Seal, Founder and CEO of unbound. “We’re thrilled to be working closely with the visionary EDB to bridge the gap between disruptive, emerging companies and established, international brands.”

Bahrain Technology Week, which took place in September this year, successfully highlighted the role that modern technology is playing in disrupting global industry and emphasised the positive contribution that start-ups make to developing regional economies. During the event, Amazon Web Services announced plans to launch its first Middle East Region in Bahrain by early 2019, improving access to state-of-the-art technology for Gulf-based businesses and reducing the need for costly data infrastructure. An innovation-focused forum organised by MIT University was also held during the week.

The award-winning “unbound” global innovation festivals are held across the world including in Singapore, London and Miami.

When: March 7 & 8, 2019- 9:00am – 6pm
Where: Bahrain International Circuit
Who: 1000 attendees – made up of 35% corporate and brand executives, 35% founders and entrepreneurs, 15% digital and media agencies, 5% government and trade agencies, 5% investors, 5% journalists.

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