Gitex Technology Week: IT's all for one, one for all
Gitex is not just about innovation: it also shows camaraderie for the betterment of society in UAE
Industry-leading entities and personalities will gather at Gitex Technology Week 2018, which is pegged to be the biggest edition ever of the Middle East's premier IT showcase.
All the figures in this year's edition are expected to top last year's gathering: over 100,000 visitors and more than 4,500 exhibitors are to fill up the 1.3 million sqft of exhibition space across 21 halls at the Dubai World Trade Centre. Even more enticing is the over 290 hours of seminars and conferences over the five-day-long event, which begins on October 14.
But more than the numbers and the technologies being showcased, one key aspect of Gitex is the fact that companies and individuals - both from the public and private sectors - join hands to bring forward innovations that are set to change society.
The UAE, particularly Dubai, has been at the forefront of utilising increasingly-popular technologies - artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, Big Data and data centres, among many others - gaining global recognition and putting it firmly in the lead within the region.
"The paradigm shift to digital is well underway in the UAE, with ICT transforming the country's core components," said Osman Sultan, CEO of Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company, the Dubai telecom firm known as du.
From consumer-related services to government-sponsored initiatives, UAE firms are determined to bolster the experience of its citizens and its residents, already a tech-savvy populace and always in touch with the latest trends - but hungrier for even more.
Building "a safer, more productive and happier UAE empower[s] individuals and businesses through a disruptive era of digital transformation. Innovation is the key to excellence," Sultan added.
Thinking out of the box is also a must in today's environment, with more people and organisations forging brilliant and unique ideas.
"All companies, large or small, must think courageously and act disruptively to stay ahead. They must never be content with what is, but rather crafting what could be - dreaming big and thinking ahead," Ammar Al Malik, managing director of Dubai Internet City (DIC), said.
Equally important is the support the government provides to innovators: a platform they can use to be heard and nourished will be a win-win situation for all concerned.
He added that innovation hubs like DIC shouldn't be just "for those who are already firmly established: it [should be a] connecting point for the bold, for companies - new and old - who are dreamers advancing the frontiers of technology."
All sectors have a need for advancement and technology nowadays bring this opportunity to them. Experience is key; from retail to tourism and bill payments to transport, the impression imprinted on an individual is guaranteed to go a long way in inspiring to do more.
Gitex is "an ideal opportunity to showcase to the public the latest technological experiences and innovative projects", Khalid Jasim Al Midfa, chairman of the Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority, said.
He added that the event is an opportunity to keep not just the authority, but more importantly the sector, abreast of the latest technological developments and take advantage of the opportunity to bring these innovations into their respective sectors, plus facilitate services in the most efficient manner.
"Thereby," Al Midfa added, "ensuring the customer's happiness and satisfaction."
Rashed Al Blooshi, CEO of the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX), stressed that digital transformation is essential to attract more business, which, in turn, will spur the economy.
This can be "achieved through launching innovative initiatives and projects", he pointed out.
The ADX, Al Blooshi adds, is keen to support the Abu Dhabi government's digital transformation by "devising innovative strategies and solutions to advance government integration, automation and performance" - in line with the strategic objectives of the UAE capital's Economic Vision 2030.
And while Gitex Technology Week lasts only for a number of days annually, the efforts laid out should inspire others to innovate as we march to the future. The message is clear: continue to drive innovation, work together and don't be left behind.
"While most of us have embarked on our digital journeys," Sultan adds, "it is imperative to keep up with quickening shifts in the dynamic technology landscape."
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