In November of 2012, I participated in the Social Media & Beyond event in Abu Dhabi, sponsored by the Sheikha Salama Bint Hamdan Al Nahyan Foundation. The forum consisted of Chris Brogan, myself, and the co-founder of Reddit, Alexis Ohanian. Chris spoke about digital tribes, I spoke about Twitter and iOSDevCamp, and Alexis spoke about Internet Freedom.
We then stood up on stage together to answer questions. First we appeared for Her Highness, family, and women of the community. Then we had lunch with Her Highness and other members of the Foundation. We discussed the fascinating history of the UAE and events of the present day, and each of us left enlightened.
After an absolutely breathtaking visit to the Grand Mosque, we spoke again. This time, for her younger brother His Highness, and the public. One of those present was the US Ambassador to the UAE, Michael Corbin, a fellow alumnus of Swarthmore College.
The message of my speech is simple: the next Twitter, Instagram, or Square could easily come from Abu Dhabi itself.