5 Highlights From Dubai’s STEP Conference 2019

Live gaming sessions, eco-friendly kickscooters and the premiere of Porsche’s all-electric sports car… STEP 2019 took over Dubai Internet City once again for its two-day tech festival.

From a two-floor Pepsi digital platform to trending panel discussions on stage, the 7th edition of STEP Conference welcomed an impressive line-up of speakers, activations and workshops. If you didn’t get the chance to check it out for yourself, here are five highlights:

1. Pepsi’s digital platform

After Pepsi’s futuristic Smart Cart activation at last year’s STEP Conference, we were super excited to see what Pepsi had in store at STEP 2019. Here’s a quick roundup:

  • Mountain Dew Game Fuel space: YouTube gaming influencer Abdulrehman (d7oomy_999) was flown in from KSA to live stream himself playing Apex Legends on YouTube. He got 3,000 hits in the first 10 seconds and viewers even got the chance to play a game with him! You can check out the full live stream here on YouTube.
  • Cooking workshops with Chef Hala: Cooking influencer Hala Ayash was there at the Aquafina booth, offering workshops with recipes using Sunbites and Quaker. She whipped up healthy smoothies and soups, and handed them out for people to try.
  • Pepsi fridges with free drinks: As always, Pepsi kept guests refreshed and hydrated with free drinks from the Pepsi fridges.
  • Snapchat corner: Snapchat lovers were able to snap selfies using a Snapchat filter and get it printed in seconds.
  • Pepsi sunset music sessions: Local DJs kept the party vibes going throughout the day and played some beats for the crowds.

2. Speakers and hot topics

As one of the largest tech festivals in the Middle East, STEP is known to bring together influential speakers every year. Below are some of STEP 2019’s most talked-about speakers from the four stages:

  • STEP Start: Jenny Zeng, Managing Partner at MSA Capital, talked about entrepreneurship, fundraising and investment.
  • STEP Digital: Mustafa Shamseldin, Pepsico’s VP of Snacks (across the MENA region), educated guests on how to optimise brand experiences.
  • Step XKester Wong, Product Analyst at Pundi X, revealed the first blockchain phone known as the ‘XPhone’
  • STEP MoneySirish Kumar, CEO of Telr, gave insights into cashless payments and the future of cryptocurrencies

Another new addition to STEP 2019 was the launch of the live STEP Show. Hosted by Sinan Khatib, the show featured interviews with the likes of Emirati figure skater, Zahra Lari and Wamda Capital Executive Chairman, Fadi Ghandour.

3. Crazy golf, scooters & electric sports cars!

From crazy golf sessions to eco-friendly kickscooters, there were plenty of fun activities at this year’s STEP to keep the crowds entertained. Visitors even got to witness the regional premiere of Porsche’s new Concept Study Mission E – an all-electric sports car that’s taking the future of automotive technology to a whole new level.

4. Pop-up food stalls

With all great festivals comes great food, and there was no exception at this year’s STEP. From Wingsters and Kava & Chai to Kaak Al Manara and Desert Chill Ice Cream, guests got to take their pick from an array of quirky pop-up food stalls.

5. STEP Music

This year’s STEP Music welcomed a number of up-and-coming DJs and performers from around the Middle East. The line-up included talented artists such as Cosmic Roots, Part-Time Sinners, Shadi Megalla and more.

Were you at STEP 2019? We’d love to know which highlight was your fave!

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