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Home > Business Nation
 
Gitex, ITU summit begin today

Abdul Basit / 14 October 2012

More than 3,500 exhibitors are set to welcome over 140,000 IT professionals and look confident to sign a significant number of business deals that will further boost their revenues at the 32nd edition of Gitex Technology Week.

Starting from today under the theme “Where Technology Means Business”, the mega IT event is widely regarded as one of the world’s top three international information and communication technology (ICT) exhibitions. Leading movers and shakers from the word’s tech community are set to descend on Dubai World Trade Centre.

The premier venue is also also ready to welcome global leaders and telecom professionals at International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Telecom World 2012. Starting from today, the five-day event is being held for the first time in Dubai alongside Gitex. ITU is organised by the United Nations specialised agency for ICTs.

More than 80 per cent of leading global ICT brands are expected at the event, featuring C-level executives in attendance representing ICT budgets of over $50 billion. The exhibitors and speakers list is packed with industry heavyweights such as Cisco, Dell, du, etisalat, Facebook, Google, Hewlett Packard, Huawei, Kaspersky, Microsoft, Nokia, Oracle, RIM, Samsung, SAP and Symantec. Notable new exhibitors include Chinese telecommunications equipment company ZTE, Saudi Telecom Company, Sage, Vocalcom and African IT distributors Mitsumi.

As a leading ICT event in the region, Gitex is highlighting key focus areas including Africa and its burgeoning ICT market, start-ups and innovation in an SME Zone, the Consumerisation of IT, Big Data and the ongoing cloud phenomenon among others.

With the ICT sector in the Middle East forecast to reach $173 billion and 7.5 per cent of GDP by 2015, according to Booz & Company, Gitex continues to play a lead role in the advancement of the technology industry by providing the ideal platform for business investment and future growth. In the UAE, the ICT sector continues to be one of the highest growing sectors with projected growth to hit 22.3 per cent in 2013. IDC, a leading global market analysis firm, reported that global spending on IT surged by eight per cent to $1.5 trillion (Dh5.51 trillion) last year, with the UAE recording 15 per cent year-on-year increase. The Middle East and Africa (MEA) is expected to record a 12 per cent year-on-year growth in IT to $65 billion in 2012, according to IDC.

“Launched in the dynamic Middle East market more than three decades ago, GITEX Technology Week has risen to be the pivotal platform where the latest developments in the ICT industry are unveiled to the world and the region and this year the event witnesses an even wider global presence,” said Helal Saeed Almarri, chief executive officer, Dubai World Trade Centre.

“Gitex Technology week plays a key role in connecting leading global ICT companies to come together and further boost the strong market confidence to stimulate business investment,” he said.

Government entities will also be out in force, with Abu Dhabi Police, Dubai e-Government, Dubai Health Authority, Dubai Health Authority, Emirate of Abu Dhabi Judicial Department, Fujairah Free Zone, Ras Al Khaima Free Zone and Sharjah Free Zone all confirmed.

Dubai eGovernment Department is participating with a larger combined stand of 2,700 square metres to host 26 government entities, the best online customer raffle; and the launch of its smartphone applications.

Following its regional debut alongside GITEX, InfoComm MEA returns to the region. The event is a joint collaboration with DWTC in an effort by the international association of pro AudioVisual and information communication industries to help AV professionals and end-users in the region to keep abreast of latest developments and expand their skills and knowledge.

This year, as many as 1,000 launches are scheduled to take place by leading companies including a preview of Microsoft’s Windows 8, which is expected to be generally available on October 26, as well as an appearance by hip hop megastar 50 Cent to launch his SMS Audio headphones.

‘Africa in focus’ is one of the most prominent new highlights at this year’s Gitex, serving to amplify the importance of the continent’s burgeoning economic potential. Gitex has seen a 23 per cent increase in exhibitors from African countries including Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, Nigeria and South Africa. Strong trade delegations are expected from countries like Zambia, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, Uganda, Tanzania, South Africa, Lesotho, Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco.

 abdulbasit@khaleejtimes.com

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