Gitex 'vital to Middle East ICT success'
Dubai, October 12, 2011
Gitex Technology Week, one of the world’s top ICT events, closes its doors tomorrow (October 13) in Dubai with a record number of product launches, partnerships and deals signed during the past one week.
Commenting on the expo, Helal Saeed Almarri, CEO of Dubai World Trade Centre, event organiser, said, '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.'
'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,” he noted.
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,” he added.
Featuring more than 3,500 companies from 57 countries, GITEX 2011 drew many of the ICT industry leaders to Dubai to unveil an unsurpassed number of launches to a targeted audience of Middle East and international decision–makers.
Launches included Microsoft Gulf, who chose Gitex to announce that Office 365 will be available for trials across the region, Etisalat’s Mobile Workforce Management Solution, du’s Emirati Plan - a new mobile service designed exclusively for UAE nationals and Panasonic’s Home Energy Management System along with many others.
Microsoft’s Office 365 is aimed at targeting Middle East businesses, particularly many SMEs, which do not have the time or resources to use cloud computing to its full potential.
Samer Abu-Ltaif, regional general manager, Microsoft Gulf, said there is no better event to introduce such a high-profile product.
“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 of its importance across the industry as a whole”
Anthony Peter, director, direct communication and customer care group, Panasonic Middle East said Gitex 2011 had been an extraordinary success.
'I would say that business conducted has been up by around 50 per cent this year and by the end of the second day, we recorded and increase in footfall of around 130 per cent on last year,' he remarked.
Abdul Rahman Al Thehaiban, VP, Oracle Middle East and Africa, said: '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.'
The volume of new business between international and regional partners has also been one of the driving forces of GITEX.
Among several first time partnerships was a new agreement between the UAE Telecom Regulatory Authority (TRA) and Silicon Valley-based ICANN (International Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers).
Rod Beckstrom, CEO and president of ICANN and a speaker at the Gitex Global Leaders Summit said: “For a Middle East market this is a great step forward in terms of being able to use Arabic and increase internet use and penetration in what is already a rapidly evolving Internet region.”
Leading Swiss IT provider netcetera said Gitex is vital for their continued expansion in the Middle East.
“This is only the second time we have exhibited at Gitex, ' said Dr. Andrej Vckovski, CEO of netcetera. 'We have already won a contract from the Health Authority in Abu Dhabi and plan to expand to Qatar.'
Several first-time exhibitors have also found that meeting potential clients at GITEX can be as valuable as deals that have been struck.
Alex Filocca is Middle East director of Marketing for Citrix, who are making their Gitex debut.
“We had extremely high expectations when we started the week and they have all been surpassed,” he said. “The quality of visitors has been superb, and to meet this level of decision-makers in terms of sheer numbers would take a lot of years and a lot of flights.”
Adding to the draw of local, regional and global participants at Gitex is the addition of brand new initiatives in Cyber Security, Digital Marketing, and Card Technology, along with a dedicated Telecoms Symposium and full conference schedule including world class ICT industry leaders.
Abdullah Al Samahi, IT general manager, General Organization 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.
“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.”-TradeArabia News Service