Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 June 2019

Launch of podcast gets Dubai tech heads talkingå

American University of Dubai has launched what is believed to be the first digital media and technology podcast series.
Rana Daoud and Spencer Striker are part of the technology podcast team at American University in Dubai. Satish Kumar / The National
Rana Daoud and Spencer Striker are part of the technology podcast team at American University in Dubai. Satish Kumar / The National

DUBAI// A podcast was launched this month by American University of Dubai to fuel debate about the emirate’s digital media and technology industry.

The Digital Media & Tech in Dubai podcast, believed to be the first of its kind, allowed commentators to discuss the trends and developments in the sector.

Recorded on campus, guests and speakers reflected on their personal work and careers.

“There are no podcasts in the iTunes store that cover the Dubai digital media and tech scene, making this series a very welcome source of local information and opinion,” said host Spencer Striker, an assistant professor of digital media.

He said the podcast would also look at how Dubai’s tech scene differed from elsewhere, a topic discussed by the podcast’s first guest, Maha Abouelenein, a technology journalist and former head of communications with Google.

“I asked them if Dubai is the next Silicon Valley, and they challenged me on that, saying I was asking the wrong question,” he said. “(They said) Dubai doesn’t want to be the next Silicon Valley, Dubai wants to be Dubai.

“It’s going to be an ongoing question: what is unique about the Dubai tech scene?” he said. “It’s an opportunity to bring in the top people and ask questions, creating a forum or a place where that can happen.”

Students were encouraged to attend the recordings to learn and to ask questions.

Rana Daoud, a journalism student and a producer of the podcast, said it attracted students who were keen to better their knowledge of technology.

“We’re excited to be working on this,” she said. “I’m really technology savvy, I like to follow all the news about the new products. It’s a personal interest I got into before I started studying.”

Ms Daoud said she had invited some of Dubai’s best-known commentators to participate.

One of them is Joe Akkawi, managing partner at Dubai public relations company Paz Marketing, who appeared on the second episode.

“The podcast is a great place for us to share our thoughts on trends in the changing scene of digital,” said Mr Akkawi.

“Dubai sits at the forefront and has a lot of talent and businesses that are building excellent knowledge and experience.

“Being able to share this with other professionals and students is invaluable for the growth of the ecosystem.”

The first episode is available on iTunes.


Updated: April 2, 2016 04:00 AM