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GITEX 2014 to harness regional ICT growth

Exhibition's 34th edition to pull in a 100,000 visitors as Middle East invests more in ICT

GITEX 2014 to harness regional ICT growth
Hasim (second from left): We have a leadership that is committed to ICT, and we are looking to be leaders in ICT

The 2014 edition of GITEX TECHNOLOGY WEEK is set to harness the growth being seen in the Middle East's ICT industry, in particular the investments being made in Smart technology, conference organisers announced today.

The 34th edition of the mega trade show, running from 12 to 16 October, is expected to host 3,700 technology companies from over 60 countries, and pull in around 100,000 delegates from around 150 countries.

The strength of this year's show will be built on the Middle East's continuing investments in ICT and smart technologies, the events' organisers said a press conference today. The region's ICT market is set to jump from around $15bn in 2014 to $20bn in 2020, boosted by infrastructure spending by the government sector, according to insights from IDC.

And as a reflection of what is happening in the market, GITEX 2014 will be built under four core themes: smart, cloud, big data and mobility.

"Under the visionary guidance of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, Dubai is set to transform into a ‘smart city', by harnessing technology to create better living conditions and new forms of developments for all people in Dubai and the UAE," said Helal Almarri, Director General of Dubai's Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) and CEO of Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC), which hosts the exhibition.

"GITEX Technology Week is privileged to contribute to this vision by facilitating the public-private partnership in knowledge exchange and sharing of achievements between the world's leaders in smart innovations and local organisations leading the smart transformation of Dubai."

Dubai's transformation into a smart city is expected to pave a road for other GCC countries to follow, so GITEX will heavily focus on the technologies enabling this transformation. A swarm of government entities will be exhibiting their smart government solutions, with 120 entities from the UAE alone expected to attend. This will constitute a 100% rise in the number of government organisations taking part in the show, organisers said.

According to Abdullah Hashim, senior vice president of digital services at Etisalat, GITEX 2014 will be an essential platform for UAE-based organisations to show to the world how seriously the country is taking ICT.

"We have a leadership that is committed to ICT, and we are looking to be leaders in ICT," he said.

"We live in a hyper-connected world, with connected devices, connected cars, connected everything. The smart city is going to happen, and if it happens anywhere, it's going to happen in this country first. We need to support government organisations and enterprises on the path to this digitisation."

Along with exhibitors on the trade show floor, GITEX 2014 will as usual feature a number of conferences and specialists exhibitions throughout the week. For instance, there will be a Big Data Conference on October 14, aiming to educate on how big data can deliver new insights and enhance ROI. Elsewhere, the Cloud Confex will return as the region's largest cloud computing exhibition and conference.

There will also be a Digital Strategies Forum on October 15, helping organisations to use mobility to enhance customer interactions.

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