Step Conference 2023 kicks off its 11th edition today presented by Dubai Internet City


Dubai, UAE, 22 February 2023: Step Conference 2023, the leading technology festival for emerging markets, kicks off its 11th edition today. It is presented by Dubai Internet City, a member of TECOM Group PJSC, and powered by Tap Payments.


On the first day of the conference, US Consul General Meghan Gregonis will speak on the opening panel. She takes the stage to share her innovative insights on the impact of the current macroeconomic situation on the MENA technology and innovation landscape.


Other top global speakers at the conference include Colin McDonagh, who leads the Emerging Business team at Velocity Global; Priya Rajan, Market Lead for India and MENA in Silicon Valley Bank's International Market Development team, Global Gateway; Andrew Miller, a startup marketing expert at Growth Expertz; Peter Shankman, founder of HARO; Andrew Gazdecki, CEO of Acquire; entrepreneur Chris "Jillionaire" Leacock; and Nora Ali, CEO and co-founder of an upcoming entertainment company and host of Morning Brew.


Speaking on behalf of Dubai Internet City, Ammar Al Malik, Executive Vice President – Commercial, TECOM Group, said: "Dubai has an entrepreneurial spirit. Our leadership’s vision and commitment to innovation reflect the values of founders, and we are seeing it all come to the fore on Day 1. It’s inspiring to see ambitious start-ups, industry experts, investors and more converge at Dubai Internet City, representing the present and future of the UAE’s disruptive and rapidly growing start-up ecosystem. Even our Group’s start-up incubator, in5, which has seen tremendous growth this past year, is spotlighting 20 standout start-ups impacting healthcare, education, HR and more.”


Ray Dargham, CEO of Step: "I'm thrilled that the day has come to launch the 11th edition of Step, bringing the tech industry together to discuss and debate the latest and future trends. We are focusing on six tracks and exploring how they are developing and impacting the future. These include the Start Track, Fintech Track, Future Track, Digital Track, Earth Track and Wellness Track. We are looking forward to exploring retro-futurism and the dynamic between past and future, with the technologies at the conference helping us to pave the way for what is yet to come".


"We're delighted to announce that Tap Payments will be a Super Partner, Fintech Village, and Fintech Stage Partner this year at Step 2023," says Ahmad Alwazzan, Group EVP & MD of Tap Payments UAE. "As the largest tech festival for emerging markets and start-ups in Dubai, Step 2023 is the perfect platform for Tap Payments to showcase our commitment to enabling and mentoring the future of MENA fintech." Alwazzan concludes.


Astrolabs held its 10th anniversary event at the Step Digital Stage in Dubai Internet City. The event reflected on a decade of ecosystem building in the region, hosting key conversations with the company's founding partners Muhammed Mekki & Louis Lebbos, and CEO Roland Daher, as well as pioneers including Mudassir Sheikha, Co-founder of Careem, Ambareen Musa, Founder of, and Anis Harb, GM Middle East of Deliveroo.


Separately, the inaugural SANDBOX Demo Day event is taking place today. SANDBOX is the landmark startup program from Dtec, designed to help founders grow, scale and fundraise. This event showcases some of the most promising early-stage technology startups in the region. Startups will each have 4 minutes to pitch their innovations to investors and journalists.


Dubai Internet City, one of the leading tech-hubs in the region, is part of TECOM Group’s portfolio of business districts that include Dubai Science Park, Dubai Media City, Dubai Studio City, Dubai Production City, Dubai Knowledge Park, Dubai International Academic City, Dubai Design District (d3) and Dubai Industrial City.


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