Gitex Technology Week, the annual global showcase of cutting-edge products and services of the Information and communications technology industry, is set to lure leading world players vying for a share of the region’s huge IT spending now growing at 12 per cent.
This year’s edition, marking the 30th anniversary of the show, will open on Sunday amid bullish forecasts that investment in the region’s IT industry is on course to reach $213 billion by the end of 2010.
The annual technology spectacle, which connects more than 133,000 industry professionals from 135 countries with more than 3,500 suppliers, has become one of the most influential and powerful events in the global ICT sector today, said Helal Saeed Almarri, Chief Executive Officer of the Dubai World Trade Centre, the organiser of the event.
With 675 new companies taking part for the first time in this year’s edition, the exhibition is making more of an impact than ever, he said at a Press conference on Tuesday.
The exhibition assumes greater significance was IT spending in Middle East and Africa is set to grow 12 per cent throughout 2010 compared to just three per cent globally.
“In the last 30 years, Gitex Technology Week has been the driving force behind the region’s ICT growth and transformation, making lasting contributions in shaping the technology landscape of the Middle East, Africa and Asia. With the ongoing support and commitment from our partners in the industry, the event has played an instrumental role in promoting innovation and entrepreneurship,” said Almarri.
“As we pursue increased creativity and development to keep pace with the unwavering progression of information technology, we will continue to intensify our efforts to serve as a transformational catalyst in this fast moving sector,” he said.
The progress achieved by the Middle East IT industry has been rapid, and along with Gitex, other industry leaders are also marking milestones this year, he said.
The growth in IT investment in the region is driven by some of the cornerstones of the region’s ICT industry and Gitex key players such as du, Dubai eGovernment, etisalat, HP, Microsoft, Oracle, Panasonic and the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority, said Almarri.
Launched in 1981 under the name Gulf Computer Exhibition, with just 46 exhibitors and 3,000 visitors covering 820 square metres, Gitex has grown by over 93 times in scale, with 76 times the number of exhibiting companies and 44 times the number of business visitors in the current edition, Almarri said.
The public sector is also making enormous investments in ICT and as part of its commitment to complete online services, Dubai e–Government is expanding its presence at Gitex by three and a half times over last year in this anniversary edition. This year’s event welcomes over 65 participating countries with several new entrants, including Afghanistan, Denmark, Finland, Greece, Iraq and Ukraine. Also making their debut at the show are Amazon, CA, Garmin-Asus, Huawei, MEEZA, Nokia, Rackspace and Schneider Electric.
The show is open to trade visitors and industry professionals only from 1pm-7pm on Sunday, October 17, and from 10am-7pm from Monday, October 18 to Wednesday, October 20, at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre. On Thursday, October 21, the show will open at 10am and close at 5pm. Tickets cost Dh60 per day or Dh120 for a five-day pass.