Mobile  |  About us  |  Photos  |  Videos  |  Subscriptions  |  RSS Feeds  |  Today's Paper  |  Classifieds  |  Contact Us
The Daily Star
THURSDAY, 24 APR 2014
02:04 PM Beirut time
Weather    
Beirut
26 °C
Blom Index
BLOM
1,214.01down
Regional
Follow this story Print RSS Feed ePaper share this
Facebook launches Mideast office in Dubai
Associated Press
A+ A-

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates: Facebook Inc. launched its first office in the Arab world Wednesday, aiming to drum up new advertising business from Dubai as investors fret over its struggling share price.

The online meet-up site and other social networking tools were instrumental in connecting activists during the wave of protests and revolutions that reverberated across the region last year.

But Joanna Shields, Facebook's vice president and managing director for Europe, the Mideast and Africa, said the decision to lay down roots in the region was purely commercial.

"People on Facebook ... use it to organize rallies for all kinds of elections around the world," she said. "We're humbled by that and we are happy that we can facilitate. But we always downplay the (site's) role because it's really the people there who came together and did what they did."

The office is starting with three employees in Dubai's Internet City, a business park popular with tech firms including Microsoft Corp. and Google Inc.

Facebook's website lists some 30 offices globally.

The aim is to attract more ad sales by targeting the 45 million users that Facebook says it has across the Middle East and North Africa.

Executives declined to say how much revenue the region currently generates or what their goals are for the future.

In 2010, Facebook teamed with Cairo-based advertising company Connect Ads in 2010 to better reach advertisers in the region.

Jonathan Labin, who will lead the Dubai office, said existing advertisers in the region include Dubai-based Emirates, the region's biggest airline.

The Dubai launch follows Facebook's May 18 initial public offering at $38 a share, one of the most anticipated stock debuts in history.

The stock had lost 24 percent of its value ahead of the Dubai launch, which was held in the plush Armani Hotel at the base of the Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest skyscraper.

While the share's gyrations are a hot topic on Wall Street, Shields said Facebook employees are not fixated on reports about the stock's slide.

"I don't even listen to it, to be honest ... because I've got a job to do," she said. "I think we're just getting on with it."

 
Home Regional
 
     
 
United Arab Emirates
Advertisement
Comments  

Your feedback is important to us!

We invite all our readers to share with us their views and comments about this article.

Disclaimer: Comments submitted by third parties on this site are the sole responsibility of the individual(s) whose content is submitted. The Daily Star accepts no responsibility for the content of comment(s), including, without limitation, any error, omission or inaccuracy therein. Please note that your email address will NOT appear on the site.

comments powered by Disqus
Advertisement


Baabda 2014
Advertisement
Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Follow us on Linked In Follow us on Google+ Subscribe to our Live Feed
Multimedia
Images  
Pictures of the day
A selection of images from around the world- Wednesday, April 23, 2014
View all view all
Advertisement
Rami G. Khouri
Rami G. Khouri
Israel shows Zionism’s true colors
Michael Young
Michael Young
For Christians, blessed are the dividers
David Ignatius
David Ignatius
An Iran deal is close, but we’re not there yet
View all view all
Advertisement
cartoon
 
Click to View Articles
 
 
News
Business
Opinion
Sports
Culture
Technology
Entertainment
Privacy Policy | Anti-Spamming Policy | Disclaimer | Copyright Notice
© 2014 The Daily Star - All Rights Reserved - Designed and Developed By IDS