Professional social networking site LinkedIn has opened its first office in the Middle East and North Africa in the Dubai Internet City which will serve as the company’s regional headquarters as it seeks to build on its growing membership and client base. It currently has more than five million members in the Middle East and North Africa.
Farhan Syed, director, global sales strategy at LinkedIn, said: “We are very excited to be opening an office here in Dubai – a city recognised by the world as a crossroads for global business exchange. Members are already networking in over 2,000 LinkedIn Groups in the region, exchanging strategic business insights and exploring opportunities together. Having a strong local presence will help serve our members better here, ultimately making them more productive and successful.”
LinkedIn has appointed Ali Matar as head of hiring solutions MENA, while LinkedIn marketing solutions will continue to be mostly sold through its partnership with Clique Media.
Speaking at the local launch of LinkedIn, Fadi Salem, Director, Governance and Innovation Programme, Dubai School of Government said: “Our research in the Arab Social Media Report series shows that the MENA region has witnessed exponential growth in social media usage, with usage trends shifting from primarily fulfilling social needs back in 2010 to political and societal usage in 2011.
“In 2012 strong growth continues, coupled with maturity and yet another shift in usage trends, where a critical mass of users now heavily relying on such social media platforms to develop new business and entrepreneurial initiatives. We are witnessing increased opportunities for employment, start-ups and social entrepreneurship leading to economic empowerment of a large group of youth in the region.”
This latest expansion follows the opening of LinkedIn’s Spanish office in March, and brings the number of LinkedIn offices in EMEA to nine, including Paris, Stockholm, London, Munich, Milan, Dublin, Amsterdam and Madrid.
The move comes after Facebook opened its office in Dubai in late May in a bid to boost advertising sales across the region with a user base of more than 45 million people.