Ep 5: Digital Dubai’s Command Center


Digital Media & Tech in Dubai returns with episode 5!! Dubai’s newest podcast focuses on bringing listeners topical segments and informative conversations with local experts exploring the latest news and developments in the digital media and tech scene in the burgeoning international capital that is Dubai. Hosted by Spencer Striker, PhD, Digital Media professor at the American University in Dubai--episodes are recorded on location at AUD in the heart of Dubai’s Media City.

Special guest for Ep 5, “Digital Dubai’s Command Center” is Hussein Dajani, COO of Hug Digital http://hugdigital.com/ , a full service digital agency with a passion for simple, creative ideas across media, digital and content--located in Dubai’s Internet City. As one of digital Dubai’s most plugged-in experts, with over 15 years experience in the digital vertical, Hussein also serves as social media marketing lecturer at DM3 Institute, as mentor to startup incubators, Turn8 and Arabreneur, and speaks frequently at conferences all around the region http://about.me/husseindajani

In addition, happy to introduce my AUD student guest co-host for this week, Ehab Ismail, an up and coming digital storyteller and entrepreneur in Dubai.

Topics discussed in episode 5:

- We begin by exploring Hussein’s career path--beginning with a foothold in finance, which he quickly threw off in favor of creative industries. Starting out as Brand Communication Manager for Leo Burnett, Hussein spearheaded integrated marketing strategies at JWT, Leo Burnett, and TBWA\, before becoming head of online communities and communications for Virgin Mobile, Middle East and Africa. Next, as Area Digital Manager, he oversaw the digital campaign for Red Bull in the Middle East and Africa regions as well. Then we talk about his current gig, as COO of Hug Digital; the original pitch he made to the CEO and Chairman of the company; and the cutting-edge digital Command Center he has innovated there.

- In the context of what makes Dubai unique as a place of business and innovation--especially its multicultural complexity and diversity--our conversation explores the space of social/digital influencers, whether there is a bubble, and how to truly determine and quantify impact value.  

- Hussein gives his no-nonsense analysis of the startup scene in Dubai, its strengths and weaknesses; his opinions of Dubai’s top startups to date; the advice he gives to young entrepreneurs as a professional mentor; and his prognostications as to where Dubai’s startup scene is heading. Finally, Hussein breaks down some of Dubai’s digital verticals where he sees opportunity for innovation and disruption.

Hosted by:

Spencer Striker, PhD, Digital Media professor at the American University in Dubai


Special Guest:

Hussein Dajani, COO Hug Digital


Student Guest Co-Host:
Ehab Ismail, Digital Storyteller and Entrepreneur

Special Thanks to Reina Dib and Joy Semaan of the AUD Marcom Team


Huge shout out to stellar AUD student and podcast producer, Rana Daoud


Audio engineering by AUD Digital Media’s own Anil Mathew James

Featuring original Video Game Remixes by the legendary Chris Bates