With few days to the end of GITEX 2013 in Dubai,which is the biggest Technology focused conferences and exhibition around the emerging markets,organisers are beginning to count their blessings this year with great international participation.Therefore,the 33rd edition of GITEX Technology Week is on course to become one of the most internationally diverse and influential yet, with key players from across the globe increasingly drawn to the show’s ability to shed light on the latest trends and generate strong business leads.
International exhibitors are up 26% compared to last year, and a total of 61 countries are present, including new countries like Belarus, Brazil, Finland, Kenya, Lithuania, Serbia, Slovenia, Tunisia and Ukraine. This year’s Official Country Partner is Serbia, and the union has already markedly boosted ICT trade links with the UAE. Delegations of senior officials were also present from countries including Bahrain, Egypt, India, Jordan, Morocco, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Tatarstan, Tunisia and United Kingdom.
Trixie LohMirmand, Senior Vice President at Dubai World Trade Centre, said: “GITEX Technology Week is an all-encompassingand multi-faceted event that has always looked to engage the wider ICT community in a nuanced and constructive way. Year on year, we have improved our ability to attract and support international businesses, organisations and visitors, and we are proud to say that 2013 is oneof our most internationally diverse shows yet.”
Slobodan Markovic, Export Promotion Advisor, Serbia Investment and Export Promotion Agency (SIEPA), said:“International business, trade and investment relations between Serbia and the Middle East have been on a steep growing path in recent years. At SIEPA, we have also registered a growing interest of Serbian technology companies for cooperation with their counterparts in the region of Middle East and Northern Africa.Just recently, Etihad Airways partnered with the government of Serbia to form Air Serbia and, earlier this year, the UAE Foreign Minister, His Highness Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, signed three deals with Serbian Deputy Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic that will total USD220 million by 2017.”
One of the eye-catching Serbian exhibitors at GITEX Technology Week is Belgrade-based Nordeus, which is widely revered as one of Europe’s leading game developers. One of its biggest hits is football game Top Eleven, which is the world’s most played online sports game and has been promoted by legendary Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho.
The UK pavilion is also having a busy year, having increased its presence by 20% compared to 2012. 67 companies are present, 25 of which have received financial support from the government-backed UK Trade and Investment organisation.
“The MENA is a priority market for the UK Government, and GITEX Technology Week is the ideal way to source partnerships, collaborations and opportunities to do business in the region,” said Mark Birchall, Managing Director, Tradefair, which organises the UK’s presence at the event.
This year, the UK’s participation gained an additional dimension with the presence of the Rt. Hon. Francis Maude, Minister for the UK Cabinet Office and Paymaster General, who delivered a keynote address at the inaugural Big Data Conference.
“GITEX Technology Week is absolutely fantastic, and the variety of businesses here is amazing,” he said, whilst visiting the UK Pavilion.We are very serious about technology and are one of the leading governments in the world in terms of delivery, so it is a great platform for us to share that message. I’m proud of our achievement in that respect, but we are only just getting started. I’m also here to support our businesses, and I am delighted to see so many of them here.”
Other prominent European countries at the show are France and Germany, both of which had more than 30 exhibitors on site.
Belarus is among the new countries benefiting from GITEX Technology Week’s ROI-boosting credentials with companies like Minsk-based GPS pioneers Gurtam reporting a solid week of showcasing and networking action. KatsiarynaMalitskaya, Marketing Specialist, Gurtam, said:“GITEX is one of the most significant events in the world’s ICT industry, attracting a huge audience from all over the world. For us, it opens up wonderful opportunities to meet new partners and to develop new business contacts. Next year we’ll be glad to visit again.”
South East Asia, meanwhile, accounted for 21 companies, including Japan’s Sumitomo Electric Industries, which is at the show for a sixth consecutive year.
As in 2012, Africa was out in force this year. In 2012, 19% of visitors hailed from Africa.This year, GITEX Technology Week organisers Dubai World Trade Center aims to improve on that figure through its burgeoning Africa in Focus programme. Now in its second year, the initiative has been bolstered by additional pre-show outreach activities to include a host of country-specific road-shows.
One of the exhibitors from Nigeria Mr Frank Okwede, Group Head, Business Development, Precise Financial Systems Ltd, was impressed at what he saw and intends to increase his investment in the show next year. “We are at GITEX to showcase our solutions and to understand what is happening in the market. The show has been very interesting, and we are looking to also have a stand for next year to take the opportunity to present and discuss our product in more depth.”
Equally busy was the Indian Pavilion, which was inaugurated by Sanjay Verma, Consul General of India. India has a strong presence at GITEX Technology Week, with thirty-six companies taking part under the aegis of India’s Electronics and Computer Software Export Promotion Council.Closer to home, more than 500 business and organisations from Saudi Arabia descended on Dubai, including big names such as Saudi Aramco, Saudi Electricity Company, SABIC, Saudi Airlines, STC, Mobily, Zain, Ibtikar, King Abdulaziz City for Science & Tech, King Abdullah Medical City and Al Rehman Technologies.
Dr.KhaledBiyari, Senior Vice President for Technology & Operations, STC, said: “Our overarching aim is to lead the industry in improving everyday life for individuals, businesses and all our customers through provision of one stop solutions to all of their communication and technology needs. GITEX Technology Week is the ideal showcase for us to outline our ambitions, showcasing both our technologies and strategic direction.”
Qatar and Kuwait were also among the regional big-hitters, with both boasting more than 300 businesses and organisations at the show.