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Home > Business Nation
 
1,000 launches seen at Gitex Tech Week

Abdul Basit / 11 October 2012

Gitex Technology Week will witness around 1,000 launches when it opens doors next week, where more than 3,500 suppliers await around 130,000 industry professionals to visit their stands.

Now in its 32nd year, the event is widely regarded as one of the world’s top three international information and communication technology events. The show runs from October 14-18 under the theme, “Where Technology Means Business”.

The event’s organiser, the Dubai World Trade Centre, or DWTC, expects a five to 10 per cent increase in visitor numbers compared to last year, its chief executive officer Helal Saeed Almarri told Khaleej Times at a news conference on Wednesday.

The DWTC estimates that 1,000 launches will take place during Gitex. Among the most eye-catching events is the official launch of a partnership between hip-hop artist 50 Cent and UAE-based company Shift. The rapper is set to appear at Gitex for the Middle East launch of his SMS Audio headphones.

Microsoft will be previewing Windows 8, which is expected to be generally available on October 26, as well as a number of locally relevant applications for citizens in the UAE.

The Middle East and Africa’s ICT market is increasingly attractive and predicted to far outpace spending in developed markets with market liberalisation, strong competition and the dynamic demographics of the region.

As developed economies experience a slowdown, global organisations and investors are looking to emerging markets such as the MEA for growth. According to the International Data Corporation, IT spending in the MEA region will surpass $65 billion in 2012, growing at nearly 12 per cent year on year. By comparison, Europe will see a 1.2 per cent growth in euros in European ICT purchases in 2012, shrinking the continent’s share of the market, according to a report by Forrester Research.

Almarri said: “Gitex Technology Week has always been a vital force in driving the ICT sector to generate both profit and performance in the industry, not only throughout the Middle East and Africa region but also on a global stage. As the momentum of traditional ICT markets slows down and reaches saturation in developed nations, the Middle East and Africa region offers lucrative opportunities for investors and global companies in a rapidly expanding industry.”

“Gitex Technology Week’s growing international impact has also led to the strategic co-location of the International Telecommunication Union Telecom World 2012, the leading platform for high-level networking, strategic debate and knowledge-sharing for the global ICT community, which will take place for the first time in Dubai alongside Gitex Technology Week,” Almarri added.

As a leading ICT event in the region, Gitex has highlighted 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.

With over 80 per cent of leading global ICT brands expected, 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.

abdulbasit@khaleejtimes.com

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