Vendors clamour for Saudi business

Vendors will be attempting to tap into the Kingdom’s growing information technology market come April 24.

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By  the Gitex Times Staff Published  April 13, 2005

Saudi Arabia remains the largest information technology market in the Middle East, both in terms of revenue and the number of potential users. From humble printers to mammoth enterprise resource planning (ERP) applications, the Kingdom is booming when it comes to IT. Evidence of this growth is plentiful, whether it be the continued investment in pioneering technology projects by in-country behemoths such as Saudi Aramco or SABIC, or research reports from the region’s growing analyst community. Examples of the latter include a recent study from AC Nielsen, which revealed that over 75% of manufacturing, services and trading companies in Saudi Arabia are gearing up for new ERP deployments. Elsewhere, the latest figures from IDC show that the Kingdom’s printer market has increase by 26.2% over the past 12 months. “The Saudi Arabian IT market probably represents over one-third of the entire Middle East market… For example, this year, analyst projections estimate that approximately 600,000 PCs will be sold in Saudi Arabia,” says Jacques Chammas, managing director at Mindware. “The Saudi Arabian market is positioned well for sustained growth… It is a promising time for the information technology business [in the Kingdom],” adds Mahmood Zeidan, territory sales manager at Empa Saudi Arabia. As a result of this growth, both international vendors and local operators are clamouring for business within Saudi Arabia. Not only do many want to establish a presence in the Kingdom — as the likes of Computer Associates have committed to doing — but they also wish to lodge themselves in customers’ minds so they become the first port of call when Saudi Arabia’s increasingly tech-savvy population reaches for the cheque book. To this end, many vendors, distributors and resellers are set to attend the forthcoming Gitex Saudi Arabia trade show. Beginning on April 24 and running through to the close of business on April 28, those already signed up to exhibit are expecting big results from their presence and a week’s worth of interaction with the region’s biggest IT market. “Gitex Saudi is considered the ultimate [information technology] gathering in the Kingdom and one can explore business opportunities there,” says Ousama Najjar, vice president at Nesma Internet. “Gitex Saudi Arabia is the place where we get the chance to explore the market. Participating in the show is a great marketing opportunity for us as it covers the biggest sector in the Kingdom,” adds Mahoudd Al-Zawawi, sales & marketing manager at Al Maalim Computer Company.

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