Hello…

My Blog Work

I’m a digital strategist at Horizontal Digital, passionate about the intersection between technology and creativity. I’ve been living in Dubai, UAE since 2011.

I write a tech & digital marketing blog and regularly feature in magazines such as Campaign Middle East, Wired Middle East, Entrepreneur Middle East and Arabian Business, as well as appearing on Forbes Middle East, Web Summit, Khaleej Times, the LinkedIn Pulse daily newsletter, WamdaLovin.ie and the Serviceplan Group blog.

Digital Media, Web & Mobile

I’ve worked on both the agency and client side, for small web start-ups and larger international software companies, in both a project management and business development capacity.

I have been involved in managing various digital activities for clients such as Emirates NBD, DP World, Danone Nutricia, BMW, MINI, Toyota, Emaar, Nespresso, Commercial Bank of Dubai and MAN Truck, involving projects across Web Design and Mobile App Development, Content Creation, SEO, CMS Management, User Database Management, Email Campaigns and Digital Display Campaigns. I’ve also been involved in pursuing new digital projects involving mobile technology and Virtual Reality among others.

In my spare time I freelance in web design and work with HTML, CSS, Graphic Design & UX/UI.

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International Development

I have significant international experience having worked across the Middle East, Europe, North America and Africa. I also have an MSc. in International Business Growth from UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School as well as having studied International Business at the University of Applied Sciences Wiener Neustadt, Austria.

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Achievements

During 2011 / 2012 I was part of Enterprise Ireland’s inaugural Graduates for International Growth programme having been included in the top 4% of over 1,200 college graduate applicants. I also have an MSc. in International Business Growth from University College Dublin and a BSc. in Marketing from Dublin Institute of Technology.

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My Blog

The Prof G Show – Episode #40

I appeared on this week’s episode of Scott Galloway’s The Prof G Show with an Office Hours question about Facebook’s antitrust woes:

With all this antitrust pressure facing Facebook at the moment, do you think there’s any chance that – if they are forced to..

Posted by Rob in Facebook

Serendipity is TikTok’s secret weapon

I originally wrote this article for the Autumn 2020 issue of WIRED Middle East magazine

In the 2001 rom-com Serendipity, a love-struck John Cusack and Kate Beckinsale engage in a cosmic test to measure their compatibility. Instead of simply swapping phone numbers, one of them writes their number..

Posted by Rob in Social Media, Tik Tok, Wired Middle East

Reem Al Marzouqi Interview for WIRED Middle East

I originally wrote this article for the Autumn 2020 issue of WIRED Middle East magazine

Thomas Edison was a busy guy. The renowned American inventor was responsible for such innovations as the phonograph, the incandescent light bulb and one of the earliest motion picture cameras. In total,..

Posted by Rob in Wired Middle East

Google says that user experience will soon affect your search ranking

I originally wrote this article for Campaign Middle East magazine
Cast your mind back to 2015. It might seem like a lifetime ago for a lot of reasons, but it was also an inflection point of sorts for digital media – social media had finally revealed itself as a pay-to-play platform for advertisers,..

Posted by Rob in Campaign Magazine, Google, Mobile, SEO
The power of first-party data in a cookie-less world

The power of first-party data in a cookie-less world

I originally wrote this article for the May 31st 2020 issue of Campaign Middle East magazine

The humble web browser cookie doesn’t get much love these days. Despite being part of the fabric of the internet since web browsers took off in the mid-nineties, cookies still get a bad rap. While..

Posted by Rob in Campaign Magazine, Tech
Can Careem become the SuperApp of the Middle East?

Can Careem become the SuperApp of the Middle East?

I originally wrote this article for Forbes Middle East

Hot on the heels of launching a new bike rental network across Dubai last month, ride-hailing app Careem has hinted at ambitious plans to further branch out from being a transportation and food delivery platform, and become an all-encompassing..

Posted by Rob in Tech
The mystery of the most expensive painting ever sold

The mystery of the most expensive painting ever sold

I originally wrote this article for the October 27th 2019 issue of Arabian Business magazine

Leonardo da Vinci’s ‘lost’ painting, Salvator Mundi, sold for $450m back in 2017, becoming the most expensive painting ever sold. It was supposed to go on public display at the Louvre Abu Dhabi..

Posted by Rob in Tech
It’s time to push back against distraction – Nir Eyal Interview

It’s time to push back against distraction – Nir Eyal Interview

I interviewed ‘Indistractable’ author Nir Eyal for the October 2019 issue of Entrepreneur Middle East magazine
We live in a world of constant distraction these days. Or at least that’s the way it feels. An army of devices and digital media channels call out to us, demanding our..

Posted by Rob in Tech
Face Off

Face Off

Originally written for the September 22nd 2019 issue of Campaign Middle East magazine
Our faces say a lot about us. They let other people know whether we’re happy or sad, angry or afraid, surprised or disgusted. They’re a window into our emotional state. And as facial recognition technology..

Posted by Rob in Campaign Magazine, Media, Mobile
What Facebook’s Privacy Pivot & Cryptocurrency Might Mean For Your Business

What Facebook’s Privacy Pivot & Cryptocurrency Might Mean For Your Business

I wrote this article for the July 5th 2019 issue of Khaleej Times newspaper
Facebook has had a pretty tough couple of years. Maybe not from a money-making point of view (revenue is continuing to rise, albeit at a slower speed), but certainly in the court of public opinion. From the Cambridge..

Posted by Rob in Facebook, Social Media, WhatsApp
Egg On Their Face

Egg On Their Face

Outdoor clothing brand The North Face fell afoul of the digisphere after manipulating the images on Wikipedia pages of famous outdoor landmarks to feature its products.
Originally featured in the June 16th 2019 issue of Campaign Middle East magazine
What seemed like a clever ‘hack’..

Posted by Rob in Advertising
Winning the battle against your smartphone

Winning the battle against your smartphone

I wrote this article for the March 2019 issue of Entrepreneur Middle East magazine

Our reliance on our devices and the feeling of round-the-clock connectivity can impair our ability to concentrate, think creatively and interact in a social setting. It can even take a toll on our mental health.

Posted by Rob in iPhone, Mobile, Social Media