ITP.net’s Roger Field reports that Ayman Irshaid is an entrepreneur from Dubai and the man behind AreebaAreeba, the social network recently launched targeting Arab businesses and professionals.
Irshaid has put $300,000 into the venture which he feels will fill a market gap that exists for professionals in the Arab world.
He noted that the 350 million Middle East residents who are aged 20 to 55 are in need of this targeted service, as are the 50 million Arabs living as expats across the globe and feeling disconnected from their homeland.
A goal of the site is to provide those Arabs living abroad a dedicated network to connect and advance their careers. The design of AreebaAreeba is aimed at creating interactions and sales channels between those professionals and Arab businesses.
A tool that resembles Facebook in some aspects, this new social network offers other modes of communication as well as a blog spot and functionality for video and document uploads that are available for viewing by all site members.
Site members will have access to specific communities and also be able to establish a presence beyond those areas, creating a wide network of associates. An online store front and a showcased profile are also available on the site, said Irshaid.
AreebaAreeba is displayed in English at the moment, although the integration of Arabic, as well as Italian, Spanish and French are in the plans for 2011.
The site will be officially launched in March of next year after migrating to another platform with hosting in the US, Europe and the Middle East.
After 25 years in the telecom industry, Irshaid is keen on this new network that he says is not in competition with LinkedIn or Facebook. This is a specifically targeted venture aimed at Arabs with the goal of “bringing the world” to the region of the Middle East. That goal is reiterated on the site’s homepage.
AreebaAreeba’s soft launch is the second targeted venture in recent times, after Du, a telco out of the UAE, launched Anayou. That new web portal and the social network are signs of the growing demand for regional and focused offerings that are customized for an Arab market.Andrew Reid, Staff Writer, Gulf Jobs Market News