DWTC launches GITEX Technology Week 2012

Cloud, BYOD and cyber threats take centre stage this year

Tags: Dell CorporationDubai World Trade CentreHP Middle EastSymantec CorporationUnited Arab Emirates
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DWTC launches GITEX Technology Week 2012 Now in its 32nd year, GITEX Technology Week, is widely recognised as one of the world’s top three ICT events.
By  Stephen McBride Published  October 10, 2012

Following the announced record-breaking sales and footfall at GITEX Shopper 2012, its B2B sister event GITEX Technology Week opens on Sunday, featuring more than 3,500 technology companies from 144 countries across five continents.

Now in its 32nd year, GITEX Technology Week, running under the theme of "Where Technology Means Business", is now widely recognised as one of the world's top three ICT events.

"Over its successful 32 years, GITEX Technology Week has been a catalyst and influence in growing technology tourism and strengthening trade ties with Africa as the continent experiences an ICT boom," said Helal Saeed Almarri, chief executive officer, Dubai World Trade Centre, as he launched Technology Week alongside GITEX partners Dell, HP and Symantec.

"It's growing international impact has also led to the strategic co-location of the 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 Technology Week."

ICT spend in the MEA region continues to grow at a rate that outpaces other markets. While Forrester Research demonstrated 2012 European growth is set to reach only 1.2%, separate IDC data suggests the Middle East and Africa will see 12% growth in the same period, taking MEA outlay to $65bn. Further surveys by Booz & Company indicate a swell of the Middle East ICT sector to $173bn by 2015, which would represent 7.5% of GDP.

Reasons for the MEA technology success story range from the rebuilding of infrastructure following last year's Arab Spring to the aggressive launching of e-Learning projects by Saudi Arabia and the UAE. Other factors include cloud migration trends and smartphone penetration; according to a Google survey in May, the UAE and Saudi Arabia sit at the top of the global smartphone penetration table with 62% and 60% respectively, while the US shows a mere 44%.

And businesses are taking notice, not just of the general growth trends of the MEA market, but of the growing influence of GITEX itself. Technology Week is no longer the exclusive domain of CIOs and technology professionals.

"We are seeing not only CIO technology leaders [in attendance at GITEX]; we are seeing business leaders and business decision-makers, so this is a very good reason for us to expand our presence," said Eyad Shihabi, managing director, HP Middle East.

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