The Financial Times ran an interesting story yesterday about Google’s foray into the Arab market. It’s an interesting read which shows that thing are moving in the Arab internet scene. I am happy to see AdblogArabia quoted in the article (I am a co-founder and contributer to that blog .
FT.com / Companies / IT – Google searches for new users:
Google’s foray into the Arabic world has received a mixed welcome from the online community. Some worry that the group’s technical and financial might could spell the demise of local internet companies that have only just begun to be profitable in the past three to four years. “I’m not sure if we should be congratulating ourselves or if we should be concerned about the impact of Google’s Arabic offensive on long-established Arab online businesses,” says media industry blogger Ad Blog Arabia.
Interestingly, the article says that the Arab world’s leading portals are Maktoob and Al-Bawaba, both Jordan-based companies. I have to add that both these companies are survivors from the first dot.com bubble. Both companies don’t seem afraid of Google.
The region’s two leading internet companies, both based in Amman, Jordan, are convinced that their local knowledge will enable them to hold their own.
From my point of view, the Arab internet industry should really shape up. Google’s presence in this market will surely have an impact. I hope we see more innovative internet startups come online in the coming months and years. From what I’ve been seeing at SYNTAX, entrepreneurial web efforts in the region are on the rise. We are currently helping several web startups establish their sites and brands.
Read the whole FT article here.