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STEP2018 reveals big plans for its takeover of Dubai Internet City this March

STEP2018, the region’s largest tech and experiential conference gets a whole new look for its sixth edition. Taking over Dubai Internet City from 28th to 29th March, and with an exciting new format, the region’s favourite tech festival promises to be better than ever.

Reflecting the rapid developments within the global tech ecosystem, this year’s action-packed program will be presented from the main stage and four industry-focused conferences. Allowing more speakers to delve deeper into topical industry issues, visitors to STEP2018 can look forward to inspiring talks in entrepreneurship, digital, fintech, the future of transport and smart cities.

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“We are living in exciting times where new technology is completely redefining how we live, work and play. The rate of disruption is accelerating thanks to a thriving startup scene here in the MENA region. It’s important that STEP continues to inspire and support innovation amongst this community with a platform that really caters to their needs. Our new home in Dubai Internet City allows us to evolve the STEP format to deliver even more great content and facilitate stronger connections within the region’s leading technology hub,” explains Ray Dargham, CEO, STEP Group.

Alongside the popular keynote speeches and signature STEP features taking place on the main stage, there will be four new industry-focused stages; STEP Start, STEP X, STEP Money and STEP Digital.

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STEP Start

The STEP Start stage will bring together top entrepreneurs and aspiring startup owners to talk about setting up, ownership, the legalities of launching a tech startup in the region and what stakeholders are currently doing to develop the startup ecosystem. Investment topics to be covered include: how family offices are investing in tech startups, the industries that appeal most to investors today and the etiquette of effective fundraising.

STEP Digital

Speakers from across the digital sector will be at the STEP Digital stage to discuss topics including ‘Arab Brands and Advertising’ and ‘Publishers, Platforms & Agencies in the 21st Century’. Panelists will debate questions like ‘Is Artificial Intelligence the industry of the future and will it transform content creation, digital marketing and customer service?’. They’ll also discuss the state of content creation in the 21st century and whether duration really matters.

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The Step X stage will focus on future technology such as autonomous vehicles, artificial intelligence and machine learning, and smart cities. The abstract concept of the Internet of Things (IoT) will also be examined from a business and personal perspective and whether there are any compromises in privacy.

STEP Money

With Fintech in the Middle East expected to emerge as one of the strongest sectors of the economy in the coming years, STEP Money takes a closer look at how Blockchain, Cryptocurrency and other digital payment methods are transforming industries, across a series of roundtables, workshops, and panels. Heralded as the region’s “new oil”, this programme will also explore how institutions and regulators are working with stakeholders to enhance governance standards to support the rapid pace of development within the fintech sector.

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Speakers already confirmed for STEP2018 include: Facebook’s VP and Chief Creative Officer, Mark D’arcy; TechCrunch Founder Michael Arrington; Guggenheim partners, Matt Spence; Noah Raford from Dubai Future Foundation; Noelle Acheson from CoinDesk; CEO of Gizmodo Media Group, Raju Narisetti.

The STEP Conference programme concludes on both days with a diverse lineup of musical performances from some of the region’s best talent in the genres of hip-hop, pop, and alternative music. Visitors can also look forward to other festival activities like food trucks, market vendors, street artists, gamers and skaters.

Tickets for STEP2018 are on sale, and can be purchased from the STEP2018 website –