His Highness Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Council for Dubai Government, officially opened GITEX Technology Week today, marking the 32nd anniversary of one of the world’s top three international Information and Communication Technology (ICT) events. GITEX Technology Week 2012 runs from October 14-18 under the theme “Where Technology Means Business”.
His Highness Sheikh Hamdan was accompanied by His Highness Sheikh Maktoum Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai on the tour of the GITEX Technology Week opening, along with several other dignitaries and Helal Saeed Almarri, Chief Executive Officer of event organiser Dubai World Trade Centre.
Thousands of trade and business visitors streamed through DWTC’s doors within the first hours of what is expected to be GITEX’s most globally influential edition yet. Over 130,000 industry professionals and more than 3,500 suppliers from 144 countries across five continents are expected throughout the week. More than half of the total exhibiting companies are international, with countries like Algeria, Denmark, Malaysia and New Zealand debuting at the show. This year GITEX’s focus extends to Africa and it has seen an increase in exhibitors from African countries including Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, Nigeria and South Africa.
Over 80% of leading global ICT brands, featuring C-level executives representing ICT budgets of over USD50 billion, are attending GITEX this year. 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.
Helal Saeed Almarri, Chief Executive Officer, Dubai World Trade Centre said, “We are honoured that His Highness Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Council for Dubai Government, has opened the 32nd edition of GITEX Technology Week. GITEX is the region’s unrivalled platform for industry players to capitalise on the steady growth of the region’s ICT market as global and regional investors look to the lucrative emerging markets such as the Middle East Africa (MEA) for business and opportunities. This year GITEX once again establishes its role as the regional industry authority to bolster investment, technology and innovation while identifying the drivers that will shape future growth in the ICT sector.”
Adding to the stature of GITEX this year is the strategic co-location of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Telecom World 2012, the leading platform for high-level networking, strategic debate and knowledge-sharing for the global ICT community, which takes place for the first time in Dubai alongside GITEX Technology Week.
InfoComm MEA returns to the region this week following its successful regional debut alongside GITEX Technology Week last year. The event is a joint collaboration with Dubai World Trade Centre 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.
GITEX’s cutting edge Cyber Security Seminars and the Mobile Apps & Content World Seminars deliver a wealth of information and insights to the ICT industry this week. The latest developments and threats posed in the field of Cybersecurity are tackled including recent energy sector attacks in the region, wireless security and mobility threats and trends. The Mobile Apps & Content World is set for a particularly busy week, and is forecast to grow by 40% this year. In addition to networking with the top regional and international industry brands, visitors have access to upcoming technologies including mobile wallets and ticketing, smart TVs, 4G enabled phones, new-to-market tablets and much more. Top industry speakers from Blackberry, Etisalat, Facebook, Gemalto, Microsoft, Nokia, SAP and many more are set to deliver talks on developments in the field of mobile apps. John E. Davies, Vice President, Intel World Ahead Programme, Intel Corporation, will discuss mobile content and the factors that are driving Arabic content throughout the Middle East on October 16.
The day also kicked off with a packed Industry Briefing on the Oil and Gas sector. The Industry Briefings offers industry professionals insights, knowledge exchange and high-level experts on the impact of the latest ICT developments in key sectors including Oil and Gas, Banking and Finance, Education, Healthcare and Government. The Industry Briefings complement an extensive conferences line-up and are a new addition to this year’s event. Speaking at today’s Oil and Gas session on “unearthing the potential of digital oilfield technologies across the oil and gas value chain” is Ed Gabrys, former Vice President of the Abu Dhabi National Energy Company (TAQA) among other top speakers.
The SME Zone is another new GITEX feature that underscores the importance of small and medium-sized businesses and start-ups in shaping the MEA’s technology industry. The offering serves as a lucrative conduit for SME ICT businesses from the Middle East, Africa and South Asia, to engage with a high concentration of influential investors. In addition to providing businesses with an invaluable platform to connect with decision-makers, attendees will also have the chance to learn from ICT SME success stories and glean insights from a range of carefully selected experts. Glenn Woolaghan, Vice President of Symantec's Small and Medium size Businesses (SMB) in the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region, will discuss how SMEs can address the IT threat landscape, while Tom Powledge, Symantec's Vice President of Product Delivery for SMB and Symantec.cloud, is set to enlighten attendees on the redefinition of how SMEs safeguard their information.
Throughout the day, GITEX attendees benefited from an enhanced version of the Microsoft-sponsored ConneXions, an event-specific virtual community inspired by the interface of social media applications. On-site, ConneXions kiosks and staff will assist visitors to find the right products, services and exhibitors for their business needs.