Munir Badr interview: Domain Days 2024 and a dynamic new domain conference

Munir Badr launched a successful domain industry event last year in Dubai. Domain Days 2023 was by far the most successful new domain industry conference in recent memory, pulling together a solid number of attendees and exhibitors from around the world to a city renowned for its hospitality and luxury.

With Domain Days 2024 just 4 1/2 months away, we seized on the opportunity to talk to Munir Badr about his vision for the upcoming event in Dubai and for the future of his conference.

Domain Days Dubai is a premium DG sponsor.

DG: Domain Days Dubai was a pioneering event last year that saw remarkable success. Looking back, what were the key factors that contributed to this success and how did it meet or exceed your expectations?

Munir Badr | Domain Days Dubai: The success of Domain Days Dubai can be attributed to several key factors. Firstly, the high-quality content and sessions led by industry leaders provided immense value to the attendees. Secondly, the networking opportunities allowed participants to connect, share ideas, and collaborate, which was highly appreciated.

The event’s location in Dubai also played a significant role, as many attendees were captivated by the city’s beauty and hospitality.

Our efforts to create a buzz on social media and the epic after-party on one of Dubai’s largest yachts further enhanced the event’s appeal. Overall, the event exceeded our expectations by drawing a larger-than-anticipated crowd and receiving overwhelmingly positive feedback.

DG: Launching a new conference is no small feat, especially in a niche market like the domain industry. What were some of the biggest challenges you faced in organizing Domain Days Dubai in 2023 and how did you overcome them?

Munir Badr | Domain Days Dubai: To start, this was the first event I ever organized. Although I’ve attended and spoken at numerous events, orchestrating an event from beginning to end is a completely different challenge. Additionally, my time is very limited due to my full-time position as CEO of AEserver, one of the largest providers in the region.

One of the biggest challenges was securing the right speakers and partners who could provide valuable insights and draw attendees. Furthermore, ensuring that the event met the varied needs of participants, from beginners to seasoned industry professionals, was no easy feat. Logistics, including finding a suitable venue, managing registrations, and coordinating schedules, also posed significant challenges.

Establishing credibility and generating interest in a region where such events are relatively new was crucial. We overcame these challenges through persistent efforts, leveraging my network, and enlisting the help of a dedicated team and supportive partners.

The involvement of prominent figures like Dr. Marwan Alzarouni, my co-host from the Dubai Blockchain Center, a Dubai government entity, as well as support from my core business AEserver, were instrumental in our success.

DG: The MENA region is gaining traction among investors in various industries. What makes this region particularly attractive for the domain industry and what opportunities do you see for investors here?

Munir Badr | Domain Days Dubai: The MENA region presents an enticing opportunity for the domain industry due to its rapidly expanding digital economy and increasing internet penetration. A young, tech-savvy population is fueling a surge in e-commerce and online services, driving strong demand for domains and web hosting.

Cities like Dubai, strategically positioned as a bridge between East and West, offer unique business expansion opportunities. Investors can capitalize on the region’s untapped potential, favorable business environment, and the growing awareness of the importance of a robust online presence.

Additionally, many prominent domain investors and brokers have relocated to Dubai in recent years to be closer to their target audience and take advantage of the local tax system. National brands have also upgraded their domain names, often opting for shorter, more memorable versions, and utilizing the services of both international and local brokers and auction houses. Dubai boasts several brands that own and operate two-letter .com domains.

Moreover, there is a thriving aftermarket for local country code top-level domains (ccTLDs), including .ae and other regional domains, with sales reaching hundreds of thousands of dollars. This also encompasses the launch of local domain auctions and drop-catching activities, further enhancing the region’s attractiveness for domain industry investors.

DG: Dubai is renowned for its infrastructure, business environment and tourism appeal. How has the city itself contributed to the success of Domain Days Dubai and what unique advantages does it offer to attendees and investors?

Munir Badr | Domain Days Dubai: Dubai’s world-class infrastructure, vibrant business environment, and tourism appeal have significantly contributed to the success of Domain Days Dubai. The city’s excellent connectivity, with direct flights to over 100 destinations, makes it easily accessible for international attendees.

Dubai’s status as a global hub for business and innovation attracts high-caliber speakers and participants, enhancing the event’s profile. Additionally, the city’s diverse attractions, from luxury shopping and dining to cultural experiences, provide attendees with a memorable and enriching experience.

These unique advantages make Dubai an ideal location for hosting a premier event like Domain Days.

DG: With the upcoming Domain Days Dubai 2024 on November 5 and 6, what new elements or enhancements can attendees expect this year? What are your long-term goals for this conference and how do you envision it evolving in the future?

Munir Badr | Domain Days Dubai: For Domain Days Dubai 2024, attendees can expect several new elements and enhancements. We are introducing more interactive sessions, workshops, and panel discussions to provide hands-on learning experiences.

Our speaker lineup will include more international experts and industry leaders, ensuring a diverse range of perspectives. We are also expanding our networking opportunities, allowing attendees to connect more effectively with peers and potential collaborators.

In the long term, we aim to establish Domain Days Dubai as the premier domain and web hosting conference in the Middle East & Africa. We envision the conference growing year by year, increasing in scale and impact, and fostering a strong community of domain professionals and enthusiasts.

Our goal is to drive innovation and growth in the industry, and to continue providing valuable insights and networking opportunities for our attendees. Moreover, we plan to take the event to different cities across the region with the help of local partners and co-hosts.

DG: Munir, thank you so much for this interview; looking forward to a successful event at DDD2024!

Domain Days Dubai 2024 is currently offering early bird registrations for the event, providing a substantial 50% off.

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