Dubai Twestival Local 2009, Jam Jar Gallery, September 12th ‘09

By Startup Arabia

Dubai Twestival Local 2009Dubai will be hosting Dubai Twestival Local on this coming Saturday, one of the 200 Twestival Local events taking place in leading cities around the world, based around the social media service Twitter, using its power to support local causes.

Dubai Twestival Local (@dubaitwestival) aims to raise money and awareness for Dubai Autism Center, a non-profit organisation Founded in November 2001, set-up to help integrate children with autism into the community and raise social awareness for autism.

Dubai Twitter users, or ‘tweeps’ as they call themselves, will converge on The Jam Jar gallery in Al Quoz on Saturday 12 September 2009 to meet other members of the Twitter community and support Dubai Autism Center (@dubaiautism) at an informal networking event sponsored by Nokia (@nokconv), (powered by Aramex, @shopnship) and (@naheldotcom).

“We’re delighted to have been able to organise Dubai Twestival Local during the holy month of Ramadan, since giving is at the core of the Twestival concept and is the reason that the event has been given such fantastic support from volunteers and sponsors,” said Prashant K. Gulati (@pkgulati), one of the co-organisers of the Dubai Twestival. “We’re proud to support Dubai Autism Centre, since, sadly, recognition for autism and understanding those that suffer from the condition and their families is still very low worldwide. We hope that the Twestival will make a worthwhile contribution to autism awareness in the Emirates.”

The Emirates’ Twitter community has grown rapidly since the service was unblocked by the UAE’s Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) last year and about 6,000 are currently estimated to use the service in the Emirates, up from just 500 Twitter users at the time of the first Dubai Twestival in February of this year! Global usage of Twitter grew by 1,460 percent over the past year and the micro-blogging platform now boasts 44.5 million users (according to Comscore, June 2009).

The Twestival is organized 100% by volunteers and 100% of the money raised by these events goes directly to charities. Twestival events are also being organised around the Middle East, with events taking place in Abu Dhabi, UAE; Amman, Jordan; Doha, Qatar; and Beirut, Lebanon.

Hopes are that Dubai Twestival Local will build on the success of February’s Twestival Global networking event which helped both raise awareness for Twitter in the UAE and for Charity: Water.

Twitter users who wish to attend Dubai Twestival Local should follow @dubaitwestival for daily updates on the event, and can register to attend at the official site: Dubai Twestival Local.

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Tarek is the founder and chief researcher at Youngberry, a youth research and marketing firm dedicated to the region. Tarek founded and previously worked as Manager at Flip Media (Interactive Agency), (Job Site) and Consulting House Qatar (Consulting firm). He is researcher and writer on internet & disruptive innovation, entrepreneurship, and youth culture.