Why du pulled out of MECOM

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du's brand remains all alone and away from this year's MECOM event - Photo: Jeffrey Biteng / The National

Attending this week's

was a rather tepid affair. The amount of exhibition halls dropped to two from three the year before and several top-name speakers, such as the chief executives of du, wi-Tribe and the director-general of Lebanon's telecom regulator, failed to make scheduled speeches.

It was also quite notable that du, a major sponsor of this year's MECOM (their logo was plastered everywhere from delegate badges to the event's banners), remained conspicuously absent from the entire exhibition. From the event's first day, rumours swirled among speakers and delegates at the Telecoms CEO Summit why du was not present at MECOM.

Well, I actually received a response from Saugat Chatterjee, a du spokesperson, who gave the lowdown as to why they decided to vacate the MECOM premises - which you can read after the jump.

Due to MECOM organiser - IIR Middle East's last minute-decision to change the location of the du stand without informing the company - which has undermined the brand's positioning at MECOM - we have, after much consideration, decided to withdraw from this year's event.

Since inception, du has been committed to supporting industry events and forums in the UAE, including MECOM. This year, however, we have been left with no alternative but to pull out of the event due to the inconsiderate conduct of the organisers towards du, an important contributor and participant at the show.

We still don't have all the information as to who bumped du's stand location and why the IIR Middle East decided to do it (although I've put in a call to the event's organiser), it really is a shame that du decided to pull out of MECOM for this reason.

Indeed, a big Etisalat stand greets attendees at the very entrance of MECOM, leading to some speculation that du did not wish to be placed directly next to its main rival. But would it have been that big of a deal if du was placed several stand locations away? Personally, I don't think so but then again, I'm not the one calling the shots here.