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Gitex interest soars

Gitex 2006 organiser Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) has announced that more than 3,000 companies from across the global IT and communications industry will participate in this year’s show.

Gitex 2006 organiser Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) has announced that more than 3,000 companies from across the global IT and communications industry will participate in this year’s show.

With participants from more than 60 countries flocking to the 26th annual Gitex, this year’s exhibition, which will be held between the 18th and 22nd November at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre, will reflect the latest in ICT developments from around the world.

“We are delighted that Gitex continues to go from strength to strength, consistently providing the region with a global platform in which to do business, exchange ideas and form new alliances. As the IT market strengthens and spending in the Middle East and North Africa markets keeps on rising, we believe our role of a facilitator becomes even more crucial,” commented Helal Saeed Al Marri, director general at DWTC.

For the first time, Gitex will also benefit from its co-location with DWTC’s inaugural regional telecoms exhibition, GulfComms, an exclusive event focusing on the region’s rapidly growing telecoms market.

Quoting IDC statistics, DWTC claims that global IT spending continues to climb with end-users around the world expected to spend a staggering US$1.2 trillion on IT in 2006 with this figure climbing to US$1.5 trillion by 2010.

Drilling down for a closer look at the Gulf, the UAE and Saudi Arabia currently account for 77% of the region’s annual IT spend of US$4.94 billion. According to IDC, the value of the IT market in the wider Middle East and North Africa (MENA) theatre is set to grow from US$6.9 billion back in 2003 to US$13.4 billion by 2008.

According to DWTC, Gitex is now sold out with many major vendors and IT companies on board including Microsoft, Oracle, Sony, Hewlett Packard and Dubai Internet City as well as 25 country pavilions including new entries from Portugal, Hungary and the USA.

The inaugural GulfComms will take place in the newly built 15,000 square metre Zabeel Hall. The event, which will welcome more than 100 major global and regional telecoms companies, will cover operators and specialists in mobile communications, network development, satellite applications, IP technology and infrastructure solutions. Industry-focused events including senior executive briefing sessions organised by CommsMEA magazine, which is published by ITP, will run alongside GulfComms.

“The Middle East’s telecommunications sector has perhaps the most potential for growth of any market in the world, so there has been strong demand for a dedicated industry event which can provide a professional platform for business development for international companies within the Middle East,” added Al Marri.

Confirmed exhibitors at GulfComms include Alcatel, Avaya, Belagcom, China Potevio, du, Efonica, Etisalat, France Telecom, Gateway Gulf, Inmarsat, JDSU, Juniper, Korea Telecom, Mediaring, Net2phone, Nokia, Nortel, Saudi Telecom, Streamlink, Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (UAE) and Thuraya.

Gitex Shopper and Consumer Electronics Expo is also gearing up for another mammoth year over at the Airport Expo. Now in its 16th year of operation, organiser DWTC expects this year’s Gitex Shopper to smash last year’s figures of 118,000 visitors and sales of US$21m.

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