Mahir Abdulkarim Julfar is the Executive Vice President - Venue Services Management at the Dubai World Trade Centre.
The 8th edition of the Arab Social Media Forum – an event by Mangusteen – takes off on September 22, 2021, for a full day at the V Hotel Dubai, Curio Collection by Hilton.
On this occasion, Communicate features the event's speakers, starting with Mahir Abdulkarim Julfar, Executive Vice President - Venue Services Management at the Dubai World Trade Centre, who will participate in the panel on "Innovation in Government and Medical Entities."
Technological progress is accelerating both public and private entities' digital transformation. How important is it to embrace this transformation and innovation in general?
Organizations of every size and sector need to recognize that adapting to the digital revolution is essential. Digitalization has already disrupted and transformed every major industry, from healthcare and banking to education. The reality is that companies that are more agile and digitally engaged will have an edge over their competitors that are not. They are able to provide new, innovative services and experiences to customers and that will always provide a major business advantage.
What challenges do government entities face in adopting and driving innovation and what solutions do you see to these challenges?
Every organization, whether a government entity, private sector enterprise, or SME, will face a variety of challenges in its digital journey. The biggest challenges are arguably a lack of technological skills within the organization and widespread resistance to procedural and cultural change.
The UAE government has taken major steps in addressing the challenge of technology skills, with the National Program for Coders aiming to create the best ecosystem in the world for coders to develop and thrive. This is a prime example of the kind of initiatives that are needed to accelerate digital development and ensure that the UAE can produce as well as consume technology in response to national and international demand.
The issue of culture change must also be addressed if companies want to have a digital mindset. Digital transformation isn’t just a case of implementing advanced technology; it’s also about reworking your processes to be digital-first and delivering the best possible experience to the end customer.
How have Dubai's event industry and the Dubai World Trade Centre activated tech to weather the pandemic?
First and foremost, DWTC is a trade enabler and is in the business of connecting people, while technology plays an important role in allowing us to deliver the best possible customer experience. Dubai set a global example for the safe reopening of mega-events in 2020, and as the regional leader in the MICE industry, Dubai World Trade Centre was committed to ensuring that our customer experience offering was better than ever and could ensure maximum visitor and exhibitor engagement. With exhibitors keen to participate across our renowned events portfolio, we quickly evaluated solutions that could enable our teams to more effectively serve event participants. These solutions have allowed us to effortlessly connect digital touchpoints through the entire customer journey, as well as delivering personalized experiences.
GITEX Technology Week was the only major technology event in the world to go live in 2020, with its conference schedule convening government experts, tech innovators, and game-changing start-ups, hosting over 350 technology experts from 30 countries speaking live on stage. DWTC ensured that it was ahead of the curve, using technology to deliver a safe and responsibly hosted event that delivered contactless registration and minimized physical interaction while the rest of the industry was still all-virtual.
The discussion around the future of events, be it physical, hybrid, or virtual, is ongoing. Where do you this industry going and how are you preparing for this future?
DWTC has proven that it can safely and responsibly host in-person events following the effects of the pandemic. While elements of hybrid and virtual events served a short-term purpose to ensure that networking remained possible through the pandemic, the overwhelming feedback we have received from our exhibitors and visitors is that they want to attend and participate in physical, in-person events.
In-person interaction is essential in driving business opportunities and in sparking innovation, and the future of events will undoubtedly be in-person due to this reality.
To attend the Arab Social Media Forum, register here.