For any company doing business in Arabic-speaking countries or communities a good feed to have is for the Maktoob Business Blog.
Online since December 2005, the blog covers aspects of business in the Middle East, with a stated aim of focusing on marketing, advertising and media. There are several contributors.
The blog is a product of Maktoob Business – whose website banner claims that the group has the world’s largest Arabic community.
A recent blog post reports on Maktoob’s newly-launched (beta) Arabic search engine, Araby.com, which Maktoob claims has a number of competitive advantages over the Arabic version of the engines developed first for English:
- optimized to deliver Arabic-language results from Arabic sources
- specialized search channels including Arabic news sites, photos, blogs and forums
- a dedicated channel for searching Islamic topics
The press release here provides more detail and some pr elaboration.
Not being able to read Arabic, for me the Araby.com site is a closed book. But could Araby.com be a serious Arabic competitor to Google and Yahoo! A contender in its rather large niche? This blog post by one of the developers, Isam Bayazidi, sounds a cautionary note – it’s beta, he’s saying:
One thing for sure, Araby.com, and the verticals in it have a long way to go with development. We only released early to give users a peak into what is cooking, and get feedback on it.