Gitex proves to be region’s top event

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By  Published  November 25, 2006

Well, how was it for you? For those of you who didn’t attend Gitex last week (or indeed any of the myriad of conferences that were organised to coincide with it), then forgive us for going on about it so much in this week’s issue, but remind us again just why you didn’t go?

Frankly, events like Gitex should be seized upon by anybody connected with the region’s ICT industry. As we’re actually going to press the day before the official ending of the show, we don’t have the official attendance figures for this year’s Gitex (or for GulfComms, which ran alongside Gitex for the first time this year), but we are certainly confident that they will be very impressive indeed. The size and scale of the event have both grown so much even over the past few years and visitors certainly get to see a good show, with vendors vying with each other to have the best products on display, the biggest news stories, the most impressive stands — pretty much anything that will get the visitors’ attention.

The past few days have been a whirl of press conferences, interviews and meetings for the IT Weekly editorial team — there has been so much happening at Gitex that even with a six-page section dedicated to it we couldn’t possibly cover all the news and announcements from the show. Many of the more interesting customer stories will be covered in subsequent issues, apologies in advance to those PR managers who don’t see their clients covered — we simply don’t have the space to do justice to all the great stories we’ve heard in the past week.

There were a few stories we didn’t hear though: industry rumours had suggested we would hear just when voice over internet protocol (VoIP) services would be fully legalised here in the UAE. However, according to the UAE’s Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA), plans were still waiting approval last week, and details were not made available. TRA director general Mohammed Al Ghanim said the service would be made available in the UAE, but only through the two licensed operators, and declined to be drawn on just when.

Likewise, gossip had suggested that du, the UAE’s second operator, would announce its launch date during Gitex; du CEO Osman Sultan again declined to be drawn on a date however (as we said previously, we had to go to press the day before Gitex’s official close, so there is still a chance that announcements on both these were made on the final day).

There will be more analysis of Gitex in next week’s issue, but for now we will close by saying a hearty well done to all involved in this great event.

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