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GITEX 2009 grows ‘marginally’ over last year

CEO of DWTC admits regional ICT event has been affected by global financial crisis

GITEX 2009 grows ‘marginally’ over last year
DWTC estimates that more than 100,000 visitors will attend GITEX Technology Week this year.

The CEO of Dubai World Trade Centre Helal Saeed Almarri has admitted that the region's IT industry and the upcoming GITEX Technology Week has been impacted by the global economic downturn but claims it has been ‘less affected' in comparison to other events in the world.

"There's no industry in the world that has not been affected, regardless of whether we have growth or decline, every industry we find has changed. The way people are doing business has changed," Almarri commented to media. "...we have found that we had very little impact in comparison to other places in the world due to this crisis. Let me take that one stage further - if you look at the year 2009, overall as DWTC we can say we're pretty flat in terms of business."

While there have been shows such as last week's Cityscape that have shown a decline, Almarri added that this year's GITEX will be "marginally bigger" with more than 3,000 exhibitors from over 65 countries taking part.

Last year, there were 3,300 companies from 83 countries exhibiting at the ICT event.

"The issue is not have they have been affected, the issue is they've been affected less than other places in the world," added Almarri. Dates for GITEX 2010 have also been set, with the event scheduled to take place from October 17th to 21st next year.

Many of the industry's top players such as Microsoft, Aastra, Avaya, Brother, Cisco, Dell, Du, Dubai Internet City, Etisalat and Oracle are returning to the event this year, while some new exhibitors joining in include Hitachi, Honeywell and Yahoo! Maktoob.

Trixee Loh, senior VP of exhibitions at DWTC, added that pre-registrations are up by nearly 30 - 40% over last year totalling about 15,000 to 20,000 visitors so far.

Pre-registration for the event, which offers up to 25% savings on entry charges, will close on October 15th. Visitors then have the option of buying tickets at the venue when the event kicks off on Sunday, October 18th. Ticket prices remain the same as last year - AED 40 for a one-day pass and AED 100 for a full five-day one.

Entry to the GITEX Shopper & Consumer Electronics Expo, costs just AED 20 per person (single entry). The Expo will showcase more than 25,000 products and will take place from October 17 - 24 at the Airport Expo Dubai.

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