GITEX Technology Week experienced another bumper year of launches, partnerships and strong exhibitor ROI, firmly positioning the event as one of the world’s leading ICT gatherings.
The 33rd edition of GITEX Technology Week 2013, ran under the theme “Lets Create, Disrupt and Re-imagine Together” from October 20-24 at the Dubai World Trade Centre, with Dubai Internet City as Strategic Partner.
GITEX Technology Week 2013 began with His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, officially opening the event with the major announcement of the innovative Smart City project that would transform Dubai into one of the world’s leading “smart cities”.
More than 130,000 ICT professionals, from 150 countries across the Middle East, North Africa, and South Asia, representing 80% of the world’s leading ICT brands, attended GITEX Technology Week.Further indicative of the event’s growing stature was a 26% increase in international visitors on last year. A total of 61 countries exhibited, including new countries including Belarus, Brazil, Finland, Kenya, Lithuania, Serbia, Slovenia, Tunisia and Ukraine. GITEX Technology Week 2013’s Official Country Partner is Serbia.
Trixie LohMirmand, Senior Vice President at Dubai World Trade Centre, said: “We are delighted with the sheer number and variety of launches, partnerships, and announcements this year.In many respects, this has been a step up to the next level for GITEX Technology Week, with a range of new features ensuring that there has never been a dull moment on the show floor. I am confident that the strategic deals and connections that have been made during the past week will leave a lasting impact on the region’s ICT industry.”
Shaping the future
Providing support for entrepreneurs and small businesses, Dubai Internet City and Microsoft announced a partnership on the in5 Innovation Hub, which will use Microsoft software solutions in an environment that supports entrepreneurship and cultivates the development of the ICT and digital media start-up ecosystem in Dubai. The in5 Innovation Hub supports entrepreneurs from early stage idea creation, through implementation and commercial launch.
Majed Al Suwaidi, Managing Director, Dubai Internet City and Dubai Outsource Zone, said: “Dubai Internet City and Microsoft’s partnership will support the continuing development of the thriving ICT industry and entrepreneurship sector in the UAE. The agreement highlights DIC’s support for our business partners as well as for start-ups and entrepreneurs, and I am confident that in5 companies will benefit greatly from the partnership and from the innovative technology provided by BizSparks.”
Empowering youth in the UAE, Google in partnership with the UAE Ministry of Education and Etisalat, launched a new video tutorial service and dedicated YouTube channel called “Duroosi”, which enables Grade 11 and 12 students the tools to drive self-learning.
Google, which also was a partner on the Student Lab competition, also saw strong response to its technology solutions for businesses, non-profits, and the general public – including Google Apps for businesses, a suite of GEO Products, Chromebook devices, and search for enterprise.
Abdel Wahed Bendaoua, Head of Enterprise, Emerging Markets – EMEA, Google, said: “The Middle East and South Asia are seeing stunning growth in mobile and smartphone penetration, along with fixed-line and mobile broadband Internet take-up. GITEX Technology Week is a great forum to reach a diverse audience from governments, private sector companies, to NGOs and to drive them to adopt the latest game-changing online and mobile technology in fields such as e-commerce, e-government, and financial services.”
GITEX Technology Week 2013 received widespread acclaim for a host of incisive, trend-setting conferences, including the Big Data Conference, Cloud Confex, and the Digital Strategies Forum. This was further augmented by the free-to-attend Smart Sessions, a powerful showcase for anyone with innovative solutions and insight.
The rise of the ‘smart city’
Many partnerships and launches were in support of the “Smart Cities” initiative, including Etisalat’s partnership with SAP, the German-based global software leader, to align and accelerate its support of the m-Government strategic goals and initiatives. Thanks to the partnership, customers will be able to smoothly and easily use the wide range of mobile apps and mobile services to access and share information on government departments.
Further enhancing government services, the Dubai Roads and Transport Authority launched its first-ever mobile app for ordering a taxi, which automatically uses a customer’s GPS location to dispatch the nearest taxi. RTA also announced that customers will be able to pay taxi fares with their credit cards.
Driving best engineering practices in the UAE, the Society of Engineers – UAE and BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT signed a Memorandum of Understanding to use technology to enhance engineers’ skills and raise awareness about the importance of sustainable development.
Providing an extra layer of safety for motorists, Lincoln, as the Official Technology Car Partner for GITEX Technology Week, launched a new range of Lincoln MKZ cars that illustrate the latest technological innovations demanded by customers in the rapidly-growing luxury car market in the GCC. Using radar-based sensors and cameras, Lincoln MKZ drivers can choose their level of suspension and noise cancellation, and enable the car to self-parallel park and keep in lanes.
As smartphone take-up grows in the region, mobile security and mobile banking were key points of interest – with Etisalat showcasing its Flous Egyptian mobile finance service, Gemalto its mobile payment services and CommVault its Simpana 10 data platform.
The Bahrain e-government was also keen to outline its cutting-edge credentials, launching as state of the art search platform portal for the public and business visitors.
A powerful platform
Drawn by GITEX Technology Week’s reputation as a leading launch destination with global reach for customers and media, Panasonic chose the event to launch a series of innovative products, including the world’s first 20-inch tablet with 4K resolution display the Toughpad 4K UT-MB5.
Anthony Peter, Director, Brand Communications, Panasonic Marketing Middle East & Africa (PMMAF), Panasonic, said: “Global exhibitions like GITEX, provides us the ideal platform to showcase Panasonic’s product superiority and technological strength to the varied businesses’ across the region. Our solutions displayed during GITEX, help meet the challenges and requirements that caters to Residential, Non-residential, Mobility and Personal space. We are optimistic that the strength of our large portfolio, coupled with global technology leadership and unmatched solutions, will easily complement and support all types of business requirements across the region.”
As technology becomes more integrated, HP saw a strong turnout for launching its new single-function printers, multi-function printers, scanners and solutions that work with innovative secure mobile printing solutions. HP also launched the HP Officejet Pro X, the world’s fastest desktop printer.
Elsewhere, Dubai-based tablet and smartphone maker Touchmate launched the new Blade smartphone, the latest offering in its growing array of smartphones.
Demonstrating the power of the cloud, BRAMS technology experts announced a partnership agreement with BIME to offer cloud-based business intelligence solutions to the leading enterprises across the Middle East and North Africa.
Meanwhile, STC and Saudi Aramco signed a partnership to support the King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Centre with a wide range of communications solutions, Huawei launched the Agile Switch S12700, a networking product that delivers software-defined networking, and ZTE Corporation showcased its innovative sustainable energy products with 15 African countries.
On the back end, Dubai World Trade Centre enhanced its visitor and exhibitor experience, thanks to a partnership with Avaya on end-to-end virtualisation technology, and expects the solution to revolutionise the way that they cater to millions of attendees every year with its full roster of exhibitions and events.
“GITEX 2013 has proven to be a successful exhibition for Avaya, as we showcased our strategy which reflects current trends while driving communication and collaboration forward. Our major focus is delivering mGovernment and Smart Government Initiatives, supporting the Expo 2020 Initiatives, and empowering the success of the SME business sector in the Middle East. We believe that the innovations we demonstrated at GITEX will power businesses throughout the region for years to come,” said Nidal Abou-Ltaif, VP of Middle East, Africa India and Turkey, Avaya.
Key exhibitors such as IT company Oracle and security solutions company Symantec praised GITEX Technology Week as a prime event to showcase their products and services.
D.N Murugan, Senior Marketing Director, Oracle, said: “We have used GITEX Technology Week as a powerful way to connect with the region for 26 years now. Every year, we strive to reinvent ourselves for the benefit of our customers, and it really pays off -over the course of five days, we have welcomed over 13,000 people to our stand. At GITEX, we couldn’t ask for anything more, as we prioritise face-to-face communication with all potential and existing customers.”
Gordon Love, Regional Director of Middle East, Turkey, Africa, Symantec, said: “Symantec makes the world a safer place by helping people, businesses, and countries protect and manage their information, so they can focus on achieving their goals. Over the past year, we have identified a surge in targeted attacks and mobile malware. GITEX provided Symantec with an excellent platform for the company to showcase its technologies and help educate its customers and partners in the Middle East on how to can protect their valuable digital information against these threats.”