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Expanding Horizons: Step Conference Goes Global with Leading Partner Hosting Model

Updated: Mar 2


Dubai's premier tech festival, Step Conference, is in full swing for its twelfth Dubai event, and this morning, co-founder and CEO of Step, Ray Dargham, announced, at the official opening ceremony, that the Dubai-born-brand will be "going global" through a leading partner hosting model for global event organisers to explore.


Expanding Horizons: Step Conference Goes Global with Leading Partner Hosting Model

The new model has been created in response to the significant demand organisers have received to take the event to other markets beyond UAE and Saudi Arabia. The Step brand will leverage the increasing government interest worldwide in accelerating and supporting startups within critical cities.

Differing from a traditional franchising model, the partner hosting model will see local organisers receive significant support from the central Step team in Dubai, with training offered to local hosts alongside assistance with programming, production, sponsorship data, event tools and brand assets, not to mention the extensive knowledge and event experience which the central team will provide.


“We’ve built a reputation and strong brand equity since setting up the first Step Conference here in Dubai 12 years ago,” said Ray Dargham, co-founder and CEO of Step.


“With interest from beyond the GCC from flourishing start-up markets including Pakistan, Turkey and several African countries, we’re taking a homegrown Dubai brand out of the region but also offering a new approach to global event possibilities, which is very exciting,” he continued.


Over the past 12 years, Step Conference has hosted thousands of startups from 58 countries, of which 28.5% collectively achieved over $800 million in funding.

In 2024, the event will host 350 startups participating in over 500 curated meetings with more than 150 venture capital firms, with access to funds worth $8.2 billion. A staggering 8,000 international attendees are convening across two days as Step Conference amplifies Dubai's global presence.


To register your interest in partner hosting potential, visit

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