ICT spend rockets in the Middle East

Middle East ICT spend is surging skywards and Gitex Dubai 2006, held in conjunction with GulfComms 2006 and in association with Gitex Shopper & Consumer Electronics Expo 2006, promises to be a ‘must attend’ event for everyone in the industry.

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By  Stuart Wilson Published  October 12, 2006

Middle East ICT spend is surging skywards and Gitex Dubai 2006, held in conjunction with GulfComms 2006 and in association with Gitex Shopper & Consumer Electronics Expo 2006, promises to be a ‘must attend’ event for everyone in the industry. Analysts at IDC reckon that Middle East ICT spend will hit a whopping US$16.8 billion by 2010 — up from just US$8.4 billion in full year 2005. Helal Saeed Al Marri, Director General at Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC), says: “Gitex has firmly established itself as the premier exhibition in its field. We are committed to providing the perfect platform for all companies in this sector, allowing them to showcase the incredible progress that is being made in the technology field across the Middle East and beyond." Global vendors such as HP, Microsoft and Oracle among others are now demonstrating long-term commitment to the Middle East, building headcount and opening up multiple offices. Joseph Hanania, managing director at HP Middle East, comments: “Gitex is ‘the’ ICT exhibition in the Middle East and is now a vital event for HP.” Gitex organiser DWTC is confident this year’s event will surpass all expectations. The Middle East’s largest international telecoms event, GulfComms, will take place for the first time in the newly constructed 15,000 square metre Zabeel Hall. Some 1,500 exhibitors are expected at Gitex with 100,000-plus visitors descending on Dubai as the eyes of the IT world focus on the Middle East. The Gitex Shopper & Consumer Electronics Expo success story is also set to continue in 2006 with another record-breaking year anticipated. Taking place at the Airport Expo in Dubai from 18-24 November, major retailers are preparing special offers to tempt the tech-hungry Middle East consumers flocking to the show. Last year’s event attracted a staggering 118,000 visitors with exhibitors selling more than US$19m worth of kit during the weeklong show. More than 140 exhibitors took part in Gitex Shopper 2005 representing more than 4,000 companies. The size of this year’s event is 21% bigger than in 2005. Major vendors are putting the finishing touches to Shopper promotions and visitors can expect to find the latest laptops and digital devices at attractive prices.

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