Facebook opens office in Dubai
Facebook established an office in the Middle East for the first time on Wednesday, in Dubai's Internet City.
Subscribe Today to the Monitor
The online meet-up site and other social networking tools were instrumental in connecting activists during the wave of protests and revolutions that reverberated across the region last year.
"People on Facebook ... use it to organize rallies for all kinds of elections around the world," she told The Associated Press in an interview. "We're humbled by that and we are happy that we can facilitate. But we always downplay the (site's) role because it's really the people there who came together and did what they did."
Facebook's website lists some 30 offices globally.
Executives declined to say how much revenue the region currently generates or what their goals are for the future.
In 2010, Facebook teamed with Cairo-based advertising company Connect Ads in 2010 to better reach advertisers in the region.
Jonathan Labin, who will lead the Dubai office, said existing advertisers in the region include Dubai-based Emirates, the region's biggest airline.
The Dubai launch follows Facebook's May 18 initial public offering at $38 a share, one of the most anticipated stock debuts in history.
The stock had lost 24 percent of its value ahead of the Dubai launch, which was held in the plush Armani Hotel at the base of the Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest skyscraper.
While the share's gyrations are a hot topic on Wall Street, Shields said Facebook employees are not fixated on reports about the stock's slide.
"I don't even listen to it, to be honest ... because I've got a job to do," she said. "I think we're just getting on with it."