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-
the 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.
“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.
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.
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 21 st
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 21 st century and whether duration really
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.
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
the 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
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 –
+971 (0)50 570 6785
About STEP Group
STEP Group is a Middle East-based media and technology company. In just under 18
months, Step Group’s news and digital content platforms stepfeed.com and yallafeed.com
have gained more than 3 million unique monthly users and 6 million monthly views. Most
recently the group acquired the popular and fast-growing video content platform Arab Vines.
STEP Group also owns STEP Conference, the largest technology and startup conference in
the MENA region, that has tripled in size every year since it began in 2012.