This post is not about the positive features of ArabNet (yes, there are some). I will speak only about the bad points I see at the conference:
Pricing is irresponsible and shows ArabNet is a business only. The best price, for students, is $350!!
Program does not contain any panels on open source initiatives; there are no special activities for youth or university students.
Everyone who goes there goes for tourism (like me) or because their companies forced them to it.
Beautiful thing is that the conference organizers do not have any idea about the Internet or technology (you can see this by the way they have arranged the program of the Developer Day).
Money first, not experience for who gets to speak on the panels. Actually the whole program is built around the sponsors who pay $$!!
ArabNet, but one does not speak with you in Arabic and all the posts will be in English (or French in some cases).
There are no important programmers and developers. None of the Arabs working on the open-source project of “Oajuobh” and Arabeyes will be there. You will only meet people who want to pass the time pretending to debate universally accepted theories.
And through these points you can conclude the following:
1 – ArabNet is a 100% commercial activity
2 – Large companies here are will to pay for the stupid things, but they will not support any useful projects.
Arab region will continue to be late for the tech world as long as we have a silly companies like the Google team who is willing to pay tens of thousands to be a “sponsor partner” for the event but they do not bother to provide technical support for Arabs developers of Android.