New features and global profile enrich this year’s event; RTA thanked for its support
As GITEX TECHNOLOGY WEEK, one of the world’s top ICT events, enters its final day on Thursday, exhibitors and participants have spoken of an unprecedented number of new products and an increase in quality buyers that has led to major deals being struck.
“The Middle East is one of the most exciting and lucrative ICT markets and GITEX is the lynchpin for bringing global and regional technology companies together to form new partnerships and conduct new business,” says Helal Saeed Almarri, CEO of Dubai World Trade Centre, organiser of the event.
“This year’s GITEX exemplifies how the region has grown in terms of attracting many of the world’s biggest players in the technology sector. Business leaders recognise the benefits of face to face interaction with clients, and this is one of the many reasons GITEX continues to offer participants unsurpassed value.”
GITEX 2011 featured more than 3500 companies from 57 countries and several global leaders were drawn to Dubai for the event.
Amongst those making major launches were Microsoft Gulf, which chose GITEX to announce that its cloud offering, Office 365, will be available for trials across the region; Etisalat, which launched is Mobile Workforce Management Solution; and du, which introduced Emirati Plan, a new mobile service designed exclusively for UAE nationals.
“For us, GITEX is the natural choice to launch 365 – it is the most strategic event for us in the region and the launches are a testament to its importance across the industry as a whole,” says Samer Abu-Ltaif, Regional General Manager, Microsoft Gulf.”
Anthony Peter, Director, Direct Communication and Customer Care Group, Panasonic Middle East, says that GITEX 2011 had been an extraordinary success: “I would say that business conducted has been up by around 50% this year and by the end of the second day, we recorded an increase in footfall of around 130% on last year. It is vital for the industry and an excellent platform for Panasonic to launch and showcase our latest world class products to a discerning and influential audience.”
Abdul Rahman Al Thehaiban, Vice President, Oracle Middle East and Africa, adds: “GITEX is a good cross-industry, regional platform for Oracle and the event’s conference programming - Global Leaders Summit and Cloud Confex - has attracted high calibre, C-level attendees. Additionally, our stand traffic has been consistently high, enabling us to showcase our latest innovations and demonstrate how our complete hardware and software stack can help transform business across the region.”
Adding to the success of GITEX this year was the addition of brand new features such as Cyber Security, Digital Marketing and Card Technology, along with a dedicated Telecoms Symposium and significantly expanded conference programme.
Abdullah Al Samahi, IT General Manager, General Organisation for Military Industries, Ministry of Defence and Aviation, Saudi Arabia, was a delegate at several of the conferences. He has been to every single GITEX since it was founded in 1981. He says: “The conferences give everyone an opportunity to meet with industry leaders from all around the world and keep abreast of the latest technology developments. I have never missed a year, and more and more I see how vital GITEX is to the ICT industry.”
Ahmad Juma of DWTC says that the Dubai Roads & Transport Authority (RTA) has played a vital role in ensuring a smooth GITEX experience for visitors. The RTA has assigned additional taxis to the event and increased the number of trains on the Dubai Metro line serving the venue. Passengers have also been able to buy metro tickets inside DWTC, avoiding any queuing at the station’s kiosks.
“The RTA has played an essential role in supporting GITEX, and creating a seamless experience for our guests. We would like to extend our sincere thanks to them,” says Juma.