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Middle East RFID Association Gets Ready for Business

After its official launch, expected soon, the organization will focus on helping the region's governments develop RFID-related regulations, but also offer workshops and training.
By Rhea Wessel
May 22, 2009Companies that use or sell RFID technology in the Middle East, as well as academic organizations in that region, have formed a group designed to promote the use of radio frequency identification. The group is focusing its work on helping Middle Eastern governments create and implement policies and regulations, such as frequency dedication, for RFID.

The Qatar-based organization, known as the Middle East RFID Association, was founded in late 2008 and will be officially launched in the middle of this year. The association and many of its members will participate in RFID Journal LIVE! Middle East, to be held on June 15-17, 2009, at the InterContinental Hotel Festival City, in Dubai.


Catina Aghayan
Catina Aghayan, the group's president, says the idea for the Middle East RFID Association grew out of experiences she and others had while implementing and testing RFID technology at Qatar's General Postal Corp. (Q-Post), where she works as a quality-control consultant (see U.N.'s Universal Postal Union Gears Up for Large RFID Pilot).

"We saw the need for an association during the Q-Post project," Aghayan says. "We couldn't always get the information we needed or clarify things with the authorities, such as what frequencies to use."

According to Aghayan, the vendor-neutral, nonprofit association is funded by donations and contributions. In the future, she says, the organization may opt to charge membership fees, but for now, universities and government agencies can join for free.

The Middle East RFID Association, which aims to represent the RFID market in 35 countries along the Arabian Peninsula, as well as in northern Africa and central Asia, is currently working to establish its bylaws, structure and policies. Once the association is officially launched, it plans to offer workshops and training on RFID and related subjects, in addition to continuing to assist in the development of regulations and policies in countries in which its members are located or conduct business. For now, the group's working language is English, but it expects to eventually publish materials in Arabic, as well as in other languages.

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