The 33rd edition of Gitex Technology Week could well be the most diverse and comprehensive showing in the event’s history when it takes place at the Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) on October 20-24.
The growing popularity and demand for the biggest Information and Communication Technology (ICT) event in the MEASA region was evident earlier this year when for the first time DWTC held a Spring version of Gitex Shopper – offering an indication of what can be expected later this month.
Figures from DWTC show that last year’s event attracted 139,000 ICT professionals from 144 countries with 80 per cent of the world’s leading ICT brands in attendance.
Running under the theme ‘Let’s Create, Disrupt and Re-imagine Together’, Gitex 2013 is expected to see a 95 per cent return of exhibitors from the 2012 show, and with several newcomers also signed up, it is understandable why Trixee Loh, senior vice president at DWTC, believes this year’s event could be the biggest Gitex to date.
“This year, we have done everything we can to give Gitex Technology Week a new edge and relevance,” said Loh.
“Among other things, we’re ramping up our international reach, introducing incisive, trend-dissecting features like the Big Data Conference, as well as proactively unearthing and celebrating new talent through a series of competitions.
“The buzz surrounding Gitex Technology Week 2013 has already begun, and I am confident that all the pieces are in place for this year’s theme to leave a lasting legacy that we can continue to build on well into the future.”
Loh’s optimism is supported by the latest Middle East forecast from Gartner, which suggests that IT spend in the region for 2013 will reach Dhs708.5 billion, up 5.5 per cent on last year.
Gitex 2013 will be structured around three segments: Gitex World will focus on sector-based industry platforms, Gitex Edge will offer networking and knowledge-sharing forums and Gitex Trends will address some of the pressing issues in the ICT industry.
Big data and cloud computing, two of the main talking points last year, are expected to be some of the prime words on everyone’s lips again with a big data conference and cloud awards scheduled to take place.
The latest trends and issues of the mobile phone industry will also be popular points of discussion as GSMA Mobile 360 Series will make its debut conference, exploring key industry trends and issues in the region.
Whilst tablet computers, mobile phones and audio systems are expected to be popular talking points again, the use of these platforms in business is also expected to attract interest.
Gemalto will premiere its latest product, POPWings, an NFC-enabled business card that transfers selected contact information via a phone application.
The device lets the user select how much information they would like to swap with their new contact with the ability to save business and personal profiles, which neatly update themselves automatically as a contact’s details change.
Gitex has become ever more a global event with 19 per cent of last year’s visitors hailing from Africa, 13 per cent from the Americas, four per cent from east and south Asia and four per cent from Europe.
Abdel Wahed Bendaoua, head of enterprise for emerging markets at EMEA Google, said: “Gitex is an amazing place to meet most of our customers and prospects in a very short period of time. It is also an opportunity for us to showcase technologies supported by our partners.
“We have seen Gitex evolve year over year, and we are excited that it is now the top event of its kind in the MEASA region.”