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World technology leaders prepare to dazzle at GITEX 30th anniversary
GITEX Grows 93 Times In Size Since Inception.
October 15, 2010 3:53 by Rasha Reslan
The 30th anniversary of GITEX TECHNOLOGY WEEK, hailed as one of the world’s top three ICT events, will bring together the who’s who in the ICT industry to celebrate three decades of technology innovation in the region. This dynamic 30th event brings more to the industry than ever before, showcasing new features which push the boundaries of Middle East innovation and investment.
The show is both a barometer and a driver of the changing face of technology investment in one of the world’s most rapidly growing ICT markets. Launched in 1981 under the name Gulf Computer Exhibition, with just 46 exhibitors and 3,000 visitors covering 820 square metres, the event has evolved dramatically, growing by over 93 times in scale, with 76 times the number of exhibiting companies and 44 times the number of business visitors in the current edition.
GITEX TECHNOLOGY WEEK now connects more than 133,000 industry professionals from 135 countries with over 3,500 suppliers and is one of the most influential and powerful events in the global ICT sector today. With 675 new companies taking part for the first time in this year’s GITEX, the exhibition is making more of an impact than ever.
The growth of GITEX as a technology event has gone hand in hand with the evolution of Dubai World Trade Centre. Over the years, GITEX expanded with the completion of new halls throughout the 80s, 90s and beyond. The Sheikh Saeed Halls, completed last year, now provide the region’s most in-demand event with more than 76,000 square metres of exhibition space.
Helal Saeed Almarri, Chief Executive Officer, Dubai World Trade Centre, organiser of the event, said: “In the last 30 years, GITEX TECHNOLOGY WEEK has been the driving force behind the region’s ICT growth and transformation, making lasting contributions in shaping the technology landscape of the Middle East, Africa and Asia. With the ongoing support and commitment from our partners in the industry, the event has played an instrumental role in promoting innovation and entrepreneurship. As we pursue increased creativity and development to keep pace with the unwavering progression of information technology, we will continue to intensify our efforts to serve as a transformational catalyst in this fast moving sector.”
The progress achieved by the Middle East IT industry has been rapid, and along with GITEX, other industry leaders are also marking milestones this year. Dubai Internet City, which itself has been one of the main pillars behind the event, is celebrating its 10th anniversary as the region’s largest ICT cluster. Other leading bodies that have shaped the industry include the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA), which has endorsed and supported the show over the years.
IT spending in Middle East and Africa is set to grow 12% throughout 2010 compared to just 3% globally*. Investment in the region’s information technology industry is on target to reach US$213 billion by the end of 2010*, driven by some of the cornerstones of the region’s ICT industry and GITEX key players such as du, Dubai eGovernment, Etisalat, HP, Microsoft, Oracle, Panasonic and TRA.
The public sector is also making enormous investments in ICT and as part of its commitment to complete online services, Dubai E–Government is expanding its presence at GITEX by three and a half times over last year in this anniversary edition.
This year’s event welcomes over 65 participating countries with several new entrants, including Afghanistan, Denmark, Finland, Greece, Iraq and Ukraine. Also making their debut at GITEX are key companies including Amazon, CA, Garmin-Asus, Huawei, MEEZA, Nokia, Rackspace, Schneider Electric and many more.
The show has matured and progressed with every year and taken on the challenges and opportunities of each new digital development. From the event’s first live use of the internet in 1995, to the introduction of the dedicated GULFCOMMS a decade later and the launch of Windows 7 last year, GITEX is constantly achieving new firsts.
This year, there are more launches offering a range of solutions. Oracle is giving a glimpse of their latest Oracle Business Intelligence 11G, Oracle Exadata Database Machine X2-8 and Oracle Exalogic Elastic Cloud; Panasonic, which last year wowed crowds with a 103 inch full HD 3D Plasma TV, is now showcasing the world’s largest, at 152 inches, for the first time in the region; HP will debut ePrint Platform Printers; Microsoft is displaying Kinect – the controller-free gaming and entertainment experience for the Xbox 360; and Sharp will be displaying the world’s slimmest bezel LCD TV
Continuously focused on revitalising the show content, GITEX TECHNOLOGY WEEK is hosting an unparalleled conference programme for senior executives – the GITEX Global Leaders Summit. Entitled ‘Inspiring Innovation and Collaboration’, this year’s the summit will feature keynote addresses by Rajeev Asija, Executive Vice President Enterprise Solution & Services Business, HCL Infosystems – Strategic Sponsor for the event; Ali Faramawy, Vice President, Microsoft International and President, Microsoft Middle East & Africa, Microsoft Corporation; Bhaskar Gorti, Senior Vice President and General Manager Communications Global Business Unit, Oracle; and Randi Zuckerberg, Director of Market Development, Facebook. Steve Guggenheimer, Vice President, Original Equipment Manufacturer Division, Microsoft Corporation, will return to GITEX for the second year with a keynote speech on day two.
The hugely popular GITEX Global Conference, the largest ICT knowledge exchange forum in the Middle East, has expanded to cover more than 50 sessions on IT and telecoms. A record number of 30 keynote speakers will be contributing to this year’s event from across the region and around the world.
GITEX continues to dominate as the pace setter of the latest and hottest industry trends. The new GITEX Cloud Confex sponsored by HP includes an exhibition and a series of in-depth sessions dedicated to Cloud Computing, often referred to the ‘essential ICT cost-cutter’. The size of the cloud computing industry is expected to increase to US$44 billion worldwide by 2013 according to research company IDC and in 2009, spending on cloud-related technologies, hardware and software was valued at around US$17 billion.
Slated to be one of the most popular technology features in demand at GITEX, the Cloud Confex will include contributions from Amazon Web Services, AMD, CA, EMC, Etisalat, Fujitsu/Netapp, Google, HP, IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, MEEZA and Salesforce.com. Key speakers include Ramesh Bhandari, Business Development Specialist, Etisalat; Kevin Miller, Customer Project Manager, HP Middle East; Betsy Frost Webb, General Manager, Online Services, Microsoft Corporation; and Chris Baker, SVP Core technology Business, Oracle Europe, ME & Africa.
With mobile applications being the current rave in creative telecoms, GITEX has launched GITEX Mobile Apps & Content World this year in response to overwhelming market demand. Global mobile applications sales and downloads are forecast to reach US$15.65 billion by 2013** and Middle East operators and device manufacturers are preparing for a telecoms windfall.
Participants in GITEX Mobile Apps and Content World include experts from FiCall, Garmin-Asus, Nokia and Bintaone alongside applications developers Haiku and Sevdotcom. Key speakers include Mr Osman Sultan, Chief Executive Officer, du; Mr Juoni Toijala, Director, Nokia Forum & Developer Community, EMEA, Nokia; and Mr Thomas Fellger, CEO & Founder – Iconmobile Group.
This year’s GITEX boasts a line-up of the leading regional and international ICT players, including Abu Dhabi Police, Al Ghanim, Avaya, Blackberry (RIM), CA, Cisco Linksys, Comguard, Datel, du, Dubai E-Government, Dubai Internet City (Yahoo! Maktoob), Dubai Municipality, Dubai Silicon Oasis, Etisalat, FiCall, Ford, Genius/Edimax, Google, Hitachi, HP, IBM, Kaspersky, Logicom, MEEZA, Microsoft, Ministry of Education, Monster, Music Master, Nokia, Oracle, Panasonic, Promate, RTA Secureway, Sharp, Symantec, TRA, Tandberg, Thuraya, Touchmate, Yahsat and many more.
GITEX TECHNOLOGY WEEK is open to trade visitors and industry professionals only from 1pm – 7pm, Sunday 17 October and from 10am – 7pm from Monday 18 October to Wednesday 20 October 2010 at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre. On Thursday 21 October the show will open at 10am and close at 5pm. Tickets cost AED 60 per day or AED 120 for a five day pass. The Consumer Electronics section of GITEX TECHNOLOGY WEEK will be open free to the public from Tuesday 19 to Thursday 21 October for product previews only. For more information, please visit www.gitex.com. Online registration closes, Thursday 14 October at 5pm.