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This article was published on June 2, 2010

Idea Economy Gets a Boost with AppsArabia

Idea Economy Gets a Boost with AppsArabia
Ahmad F Al-Shagra
Story by

Ahmad F Al-Shagra

Co-founder of, Ex-Editor of The Next Web ME, trainer, blogger, and programmer. Co-founder of, Ex-Editor of The Next Web ME, trainer, blogger, and programmer.

Arabic AppsSome said that 2010 would be ‘The year of tablet‘, others said ‘The Year of Social TV‘, the Chinese declared it ‘The Year of the Tiger’. But if one things for sure, it’s the year of surprises in the Middle East. AppsArabia counts as one.

Abu Dhabi’s Media Zone Authority (aka TwoFour54) have come yet again with a jaw breaking project called AppsArabia that looks like it could have the potential for greatness, and I’ll tell you how.

If you’re in the software development industry, you have probably come across that passionate developer with ‘an idea that will change the world’, moreover if you’ve met me in person you’ve probably heard me say it too. This phenomenon spreads all the way to the people least involved in the development itself, some call them: The Entrepreneurs.

AppsArabia comes with high hopes to change the smart phone application development industry from ground up by providing a miniature eco system for developers, designers and your standard entrepreneur to mingle and come up with outstanding results via an online network. This eco system will help the technically literate communicate with the technically illeterate that would otherwise be nothing more than a head full of ideas, into a fully functional app producing team.

Now networks aren’t really new to the region, actually we pride ourselves in being one of the world biggest online forums, but these guys provide more than just that. They provide a fund that works in a way similar to that of Venture Capital, but as pointed out by it’s founders, it’s not ‘Equity Investment’.

Equity investment as defined by Business Dictionary is:

Money that is invested in a firm by its owner(s) or holder(s) of common stock (ordinary shares) but which is not returned in the normal course of the business. Investors recover it only when they sell their shareholdings to other investors, or when the assets of the firm are liquidated and proceeds distributed among them after satisfying the firm’s obligations.

Which in lamen terms means that the people from TwoFour54 will be sharing the funded team’s profits until TwoFour54 make back all the money they spent on the project in cash, expertise, facilities and other related functions. After that they remain an investor because your app was published in the App Store in their name instead of your’s. Which is their way of making sure you can’t screw them off so to speak.

Now all in all, the smart phone industry around the world is exploding, its doing much more of the same in the Middle East with numbers like new iPhone apps sales in the region reaching 500,000 during 2009 alone and companies like reporting half their browsing mobile customers from the region are using an iPhone also.

Now that we’ve established the market is ripe for a picking, all we need to know is why this seems like a good idea? Well simply because with it, you can create the app you have always been dreaming of creating, with one condition, the project has to be sustainable. And by sustainable TwoFour54 mean it has to make money.

To round things up, we think this is a great idea for aspiring regional entrepreneurs to start providing solutions to the region, from the region.

Original Image Courtesy of Naviflix.