GITEX Technology Week opens its doors tomorrow, Sunday October 14, with leading global companies preparing to launch the latest products and services to boost the Middle East’s growing Information and Communication Technology (ICT) market. With the Middle East and Africa’s (MEA) spending in information technology expected to reach USD91 billion by 2015, according to the International Data Corporation, GITEX continues to lead the way in setting the regional agenda.
The 32nd edition of GITEX, under the theme “Where Technology Meets Business”, will address the latest trends, opportunities and solutions most relevant to the regional and global business community. More than 130,000 visitors from 144 countries are expected through the doors of this year’s GITEX, which runs from October 14-18 at Dubai World Trade Centre .
GITEX continues to be regarded as the preferred regional platform for new product launches, and has cemented its position one of the world’s top three international ICT events. 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.
“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. 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,” said Helal Saeed Almarri, Chief Executive Officer, Dubai World Trade Centre .
GITEX will host more than 3,500 exhibitors from 54 nations, including new country participants Algeria, Denmark and New Zealand, and over 625 new exhibitors including SAP, STC, ZTE, Vocalcom, ZTE and Sage. With over 80% of leading global ICT brands expected, featuring C-level executives in attendance representing ICT budgets of over USD50 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.
Trending technologies that will be a focus of discussions and constructive debate include Big Data in the field of Cloud Computing, Cybersecurity and the Consumerisation of IT phenomenon. As the Middle East and Africa look to the cloud for future innovation and growth, the largest Cloud Confex to date will highlight evolution and opportunities in the cloud. The Consumerisation of IT Forum will examine the associated security and logistical implications of the rise of the BYOD (bring your own device) trend that is impacting the region and world. The forum features prominent experts from Dell , the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA), Hewlett-Packard, and Google. The developments and threats posed in the field of Cybersecurity will also have a strong emphasis as topics such as recent energy sector attacks in the region, wireless security, mobility threats and trends are discussed in the Cyber Security Seminars.
A strong conferences line-up will set the stage for high-level knowledge exchange among experts and global ICT professionals. Exclusive Industry Briefings have been introduced, which focus on technology trends within the Oil and Gas, Banking and Finance, Education, Healthcare and Government sectors. The Digital Strategies Forum, which aims to equip businesses to monetise opportunities in digital marketing, mobility, social media and the internet, will have Jonathan Labin, Country Manager MENA of Facebook, discussing how businesses can benefit from the large volume of data available on social networks in the social data revolution.
This year Gitex has initiated focus in new strategic areas including the launch of a dedicated SME Zone, which will serve as a conduit for SME ICT businesses from MEA to engage with a high concentration of influential investors. Africa in Focus is another important highlight due to the continent’s booming ICT industry with strong trade delegations expected from African countries including Zambia, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, Uganda, Tanzania, South Africa, Lesotho, Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco. The newly launched International Zone is a platform dedicated to giving more than 30 specific country groups the chance to present their most innovative technology products and seek profitable cross-border sales and collaboration.
Also highly anticipated is the strategic co-location of 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 will take place for the first time in Dubai alongside Gitex. ITU is organised by the United Nations specialised agency for ICTs.
Following its regional debut alongside GITEX Technology Week last year, InfoComm MEA returns to the region. 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.