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Is Beirut the new design hub of the Middle East?

Jul 03

Is Beirut the new design hub of the Middle East?

Lebanon’s first user experience conference took place on May 10-11, 2018 in the historic American University of Beirut. The new event ​puts ​Beirut ​on ​the ​map ​as ​a ​hub ​of digital ​innovation ​and ​entrepreneurship. UX and digital innovation experts from Google, IBM, McKinsey and Accenture drew an international crowd of 300 designers, entrepreneurs, and developers for two days of talks, workshops and networking.

Emily von Eschwege, the speaker for Google, enthused, “Being part of this fantastic happening will be one of my lifetime memories.” The UXB conference forms part of a growing trend towards investment in digital technology and entrepreneurship in Lebanon.

When Rhéa Moufarrej, the founder of UXB, completed her Master’s degree in Digital Media at the IE Business School in Spain, she hoped to return home to work in user experience, but felt the current digital industry in Lebanon didn’t offer the same opportunities she saw in Europe. Undaunted, Rhéa and her partner, sales manager for Uber Iberia, decided to organize a world-class event to bring together digital entrepreneurs and designers in Beirut, in the hopes of boosting the growing digital industry in Lebanon and attracting international experts to meet with local talent. Moufarrej says: “We see UXB as the first of many events to foster entrepreneurship and digital innovation in Lebanon and the MENA region.”