Ankabut’s recommendations for UAE events you should you to attend in April & May


The “Spring Season” is in full bloom in the UAE. Temperatures are warm but not crazy hot like it will be from June – August when everyone takes vacation to Europe or America. You can also tell it’s spring because a million conferences are going on in Abu Dhabi and Dubai. Besides people from the UAE attending, many people will be coming worldwide to gain some knowledge but also do some tourism and enjoy the great weather. 

The week of April 13 – 17 has three events where our organization, Ankabut is involved  First is the Emirates Skills National Competition on April 14-15 in Abu Dhabi. It is a premier event that celebrates outstanding Emirati talent in technical and vocational skills and inspires youth to be passionate about new trades and embrace technology-based careers. The competition will showcase the talent of 600 selected Emirati youths that who will demonstrate their skills in 24 categories of craftsmanship and technology by challenging their peers based on the standards and judging criteria of World Skills International. Ankabut is a supporter and the event is free. 

Next is the Health Innovation Conference being held in Dubai on April 14-16 at the Mohammed BinRashid Academic Medical Center.  HIIDubai, will offer stakeholders a unique opportunity to focus on today’s pressing problems and collaborate on new future-oriented ideas. We will bring together the best minds, resources and technologies for compelling panels, discussions with ground breaking topics, and innovative product demos. The cost to register is $600 but friends of Ankabut (HII20OFF is the promotion code) will get a 20% discount. Speakers will include Ankabut’s CEO Fahem Al Nuaimi as well as Board of Advisor member and President of the University of Dubai Dr. Eesa Bastaki. In addition many experts in the medical field will be presenting.

Third is the 1st Middle East Conference on Telemedicine & mHealth  being held in Abu Dhabi on the 15th of April at the Dusit Thani Hotel. The theme of the conference is “A Paradigm Shift in Healthcare”. There will be more than 20 expert speakers from USA, Canada, Switzerland, KSA, India, Pakistan, and other countries, aims to bring together major stakeholders of the eHealth ecosystem to network, share best practices & innovative solutions in Telemedicine & mHealth. The cost to register is 700AED but for friends of Ankabut the cost will be 500AED. To register please contact Ms. Prema Paul at Speakers will include Ankabut’s Manager of Technology & Services Development, Dr. Ahmed Dabbagh and many experts in the field of healthcare and telemedicine.

Then in the merry, merry month of May, Ankabut invites you to attend the UAE FORUM ON INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY RESEARCH 2014 (ICTRF2014). The event will be held on May 11th in Abu Dhabi. Ankabut is a co-organizer of the event along with Khalifa University and EBTIC. The main theme of this year’s forum will be focused on “Big Data: Opportunities & Challenges” which includes sessions on: Big Data and Smart Government, Big Data and Smart Health, as well as Big Data and Smart Grid. The main topics in these sessions will be presented and discussed by prominent invited international speakers followed by a panel discussion. Since I had something to do with bringing four of the speakers I can say with certainty they are looking forward to coming to the UAE. They also want to meet and chat with people who live here and learn more about this part of the world.

The cost to attend is free and will be open to academics, researchers, and industry professionals from the fast growing ICT sectors in the UAE and the region.

To keep up on these 4 events follow me us on Twitter at Deanhoke or AnkabutUAE. We of course have a Ankabut Facebook page you can “Like” and follow.

These are some of the last events I will be directly involved before I leave Ankabut and transition to my new company in the UAE in late September, but more about that later.  

Regards, Dean

PS: Just in the event you are wondering, the Ankabut Annual Users’ Meeting has been made a once a year event and Zayed University in Abu Dhabi has agreed to be our host. Make sure to put down on your calendar November 12-13. It’s going to be one tremendous event. I plan to attend and enjoy the Users’ meeting as a supporter of Ankabut, how about you?


Looking for a New Challenge


In early January I made a decision not to renew my contract with Ankabut the United Arab Emirates Advance Network for Research and Education where I have work since October 2010. My resignation will not take effect until October 2014. I wanted to give Ankabut time to find a replacement and I have a few important projects to complete.

Some people I know when they learned that I’m leaving asked the question; “What Happened? Did they not renew your contract, or are you unhappy with the organization, the money, the title or the boss?” The answer to all these questions is NO.

Ankabut is alive and well and they didn’t let me go. Is it money or title? Naturally I would like more money or a better title but it wasn’t a game changer. I am not unhappy with the organization or my boss and I must say he is good for Ankabut and we like each other. He is approachable, respects my opinion and has a good sense of humor. Do we disagree at times, of course but he will listen. In the end the CEO has to make the call and especially in this region.

I honestly believe I have done what I can for the organization and reached the goals I set when I started. I could continue doing the same thing for Ankabut but I need a new challenge. What that challenge is has not been decided but I can safely say retirement is not in my plans for another 5-7 years, if ever.

So what’s next? That is indeed the question that I am still pondering. My wife and I do like the UAE and have developed a number of very good relationships with the expat and Emirati communities over the years mostly in the field of education. There is always a possibility I may be offered a position in the region by an organization with education ties that would offer more responsibility and new challenges. It’s also possible I may start or co-found a company, which focuses on a variety of educational services for the region. I have always had an entrepreneurial side to me. I co-founded The Connected Learning Network, an e-learning services company in the US back in 1999.  E-learning may an element of the company but would have a number of other services to support the education community.  I see a great deal of potential in support or outsourcing educational services. If I go that direction I will want to have a partner(s) who have similar interests.  The third option is to go back to the US and find a position, which would meet the responsibility and challenge needs. Unfortunately I don’t see that job existing near our home in Brown County Indiana. Perhaps Louisville our adopted home, Florida, Hawaii (why not), DC region or my alma mater Urbana University. We will see what the options are and make a decision then.

In the meantime these upcoming months will be busy. There are projects I need to complete which are important to Ankabut and its members.  I’ll keep you posted on where I go from here as well as writing about education in the region.

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