The greatest IT show on earth

Arabian Business has covered GITEX for over 10 years, and witnessed how the show has grown from its modest youth, mirroring the meteoric growth in the ICT sector.

  • E-Mail
By  Administrator Published  September 6, 2007

Any casual visitor to Dubai in early September will notice a buzz in the atmosphere. Hotels reach full occupancy, taxis are almost impossible to come by, and if you walk into the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre, you'll see the world's leading technology companies battling for the attention of thousands of IT-hungry consumers with their latest products on display. Even for a city that's as used to action as Dubai, it's a hectic, dynamic week.

It can only mean that GITEX is in town.

What began as an IT exhibit in 1981 with 46 local exhibitors and 3038 visitors has developed into one of the most influential and high-profile IT events in the ICT sector - GITEX is among the top three ICT exhibitions in the world. Now in its 27th year, GITEX has grown from an 820 square metre display to the mega-show it is today - sprawling across 64,000 metres and welcoming over 130,000 visitors from 80 countries. This year looks set to be the one that GITEX surpasses Taiwanese rival CompuTex in terms of international importance. Part of the secret to the show's success has been its proactive strategy and positioning in one of the world's most dynamic technology markets.

The exhibition has been able to bring together the Middle East's hunger for new solutions to help manage ongoing economic development and growth, with some of the world's most innovative companies.

Research group IDC calculates that the Middle East and North Africa market for IT solutions is on track to reach the US$$45bn mark by 2010.

Investment in technology continues to show double-digit growth for both consumer and business solutions, which increases the number of companies looking to exhibit at the show.

The show's positioning has also enabled GITEX to witness the rise and fall of some of the ICT world's ‘mega-shows', meanwhile staying ahead of the shifting needs of exhibitors and trade visitors. Through international benchmarking, GITEX has been able to integrate the lessons learned from other major events and continually reinvent the exhibition.

While US and Taiwanese rivals have suffered from falling attendance numbers and decreasing relevance, GITEX continues to develop and increase in prominence. Globally, while major ICT events in Europe and Asia have invested heavily in order to reinvigorate their shows, GITEX has been able to stay ahead of the curve by following three lessons from the past.

Lesson number one: the importance of partnership

The show's growth can be attributed to the ongoing partnerships it has formed with major government and technology companies over the years.

The exhibition continues to draw on the support of some of the ICT industry's biggest names to strengthen its commercial appeal and introduce to the market a host of innovative programmes. This year's event is a great example. Consolidated under the banner of GITEX Technology Week, the 2007 extended version will unveil a new dedicated series of sector-focused events that will provide delegates and exhibitors with even more value, bringing the show to a whole new level.

Since its creation, the exhibition has been marked by major milestones including the introduction of GITEX Shopper, which divided the business-to-business and retail components of the show, the debut of the GULFCOMMS telecommunications event last year, and this year's launch of GITEX Technology Week.

To continue this positive trend, this year's show is divided into three strands: GITEX Business Solutions, GULFCOMMS and Consumer Electronics.

Add a Comment

Your display name This field is mandatory

Your e-mail address This field is mandatory (Your e-mail address won't be published)

Security code