Several large IT firms have withdrawn their booths at Gitex 2007, the Arab world's largest IT expo hosted in Dubai.
Although each manned stands in the past, Microsoft, Intel and LG said they would will participate in other ways this year.
Gitex - the Gulf Information Technology Exhibition, now in its 27th year - has been rebranded as Gitex Technology Week, and will include business solutions clinic for businesses, debates and discussions.
This year the event has been moved ahead by two months and will run from September 8 to 12. The change was made to accommodate a dentistry congress coming to Dubai.
Helal Saeed Al Merri, director-general of Dubai World Trade Centre, organiser of the event, said overall the response this year has been "phenomenal". "Gitex Technology Week is sold out and is bigger than last year's show in terms of space utilisation," he said. "A significant number of our clients are intensifying their marketing spend at the show."
But for the first time in 16 years, Microsoft Gulf has opted not to host a booth. Last year its massive stand was used to launch the Vista operating system.
Microsoft will not launch any new products until 2008. As a result, Bharat Kumar, business and marketing officer at Microsoft Gulf, said the company would use the event to meet partners, participate in the panel discussions and focus on Gitex Shopper, the retail-oriented sister event held offsite at Airport Expo.
LG is also focusing more on Gitex Shopper. "LG will still engage consumers at Shopper through its channel partner," said C H Lee, adding that he still regarded Gitex as the most important consumer electronics event in the region.
Ferhad Patel, Intel's regional business manager, said his company is also taking a different tack. Instead of a booth, the chipmaker will work directly with resellers and distributors, and also collaborate with Dubai Internet City at its stand promoting digital communities.
Expo to attract 130,000 peopleGITEX Shopper & Consumer Electronics Expo 2007 is expected to draw 130,000 buyers and visitors, organisers said. The region's dominant consumer technology platform will be held at Airport Expo Dubai.
More than 200 vendors, distributors and resellers will compete to offer the latest launches and bargains.
It is estimated that the display category will reach shipment totals for 2007 of $26 billion. More than 30 million digital televisions are expected to shipped as consumers embrace digital technologies. Both globally and in the UAE flat-panel LCD TVs are expected to be among the main performers in this category. Just as striking is the UAE's recent surge in demand for notebooks. Last year the UAE had a 65 per cent increase in shipments while the entire Gulf region saw a 61 per cent rise to 1.25 million units. http://archive.gulfnews.com/articles/07/08/02/10143605.html