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It looks like Paddy Cosgrave, the chief executive of Web Summit, is increasingly looking up to the Middle East as a preferred destination for the world-renowned event which has recently spread out to various of the world. A recent report by the Arabian Business revealed that Cosgrave views the Gulf region as an emerging force to reckon when it comes to innovation and entrepreneurship.

Cosgrave, the report continued, is in talks with the UAE government to introduce his flagship innovation-focused event to the country by 2022.

He noted: “Already at Web Summit, we have massive participation from Abu Dhabi and Dubai, but also from Oman and Saudi Arabia, and the number of startups participating from the region has been growing year-on-year.”

The Runway to Web Summit made its MENA debut in Bahrain during Tech Week in 2018. It was a pitching competition that gave ten regional tech startups the stage to pitch in front of the audience. The winning startup, Smart Crowd, was sent to an all expense paid trip to the Web Summit in Lisbon!  

The Web Summit CEO thinks that his flagship international event will have traction among the ME audience despite the fact that the region has recently witnessed a sharp rise of similar events dedicated to innovation-driven startups and entrepreneurship.

Saying that he wasn’t interested in rolling out “something regional for the Middle East,” Cosgrave added: “I want to build a global event in the Middle East. That’s a great opportunity for countries in the region, in that they don’t have far to travel to showcase all of the good going on there.”