Sheikh Maktoum Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, officially opened GITEX TECHNOLOGLY WEEK today (Sunday 17, October), celebrating the 30th anniversary of one of the world's top three ICT events.
Accompanying Sheikh Maktoum were VIP dignitaries from various governmental organisations, and the Chief Executive Officer, Dubai World Trade Centre.
Thousands of trade and business visitors came through the door within the first hours of what is expected to be one of the most successful GITEX weeks ever. More than 3,500 companies from 65 nations are showcasing their latest products and services to over 100,000 visitors at the five-day event, which runs until Thursday at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre.
Mr Almarri said: "We are honoured to have His Highness Sheikh Maktoum Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, open this very special 30th anniversary of GITEX TECHNOLOGY WEEK. The Middle East is proving to be one of the most exciting and fastest growing ICT markets in the world, and we are seeing an increasing number of industry leaders showcasing their latest products at GITEX. The high-profile delegates and key decision makers make this one of the most significant technology events in the world. Our role is to maintain that momentum and facilitate the growth of the market."
The opening day highlighted three brand new GITEX features including the Global Leaders Summit, the GITEX Mobile Apps & Content World and the GITEX Cloud Confex. "The cutting edge elements that we have introduced this year add to the attraction of GITEX as a constantly evolving event and a pace setter in driving ICT business in the region and across the world," said Mr Almarri.
Hundreds of senior ICT professionals were given expert insights at the GITEX Global Leaders Summit by some of the most respected authorities in their field. Rajeev Asija, Executive Vice President Enterprise Solution & Services Business, HCL Infosystems – Strategic sponsor for the event; Ali Faramawy, Vice President, Microsoft International and President, Microsoft Middle East & Africa, Microsoft Corporation; Bhaskar Gorti, Senior Vice President and General Manager Communications Global Business Unit, Oracle; and Randi Zuckerberg, Director of Market Development, Facebook, shared their experiences and advice with the audience.
On Monday (October 18), Steve Guggenheimer, Vice President, Original Equipment Manufacturer Division, Microsoft Corporation, returns to GITEX for the second year to present an update on 'Microsoft Innovation and How that Equals Opportunity for You' in an exclusive keynote address.
Another new element, the GITEX Mobile Apps & Content World, which opens on Monday (Oct. 18) reflects the enormous potential of the smartphone market in the Middle East and Africa. It is also expected to be a big hit with the visitors with global mobile applications sales and downloads forecast to reach US$15.65 billion by 2013. Free open panel debates will run throughout the week with industry experts exploring apps and content from an international and regional perspective. The sessions will be led by key decision makers including Phillip Parfitt, Head of Developer Relations, Greater European Region, Nokia; and Yousef H Mugharbil, President Digital Media, Rotana Media Group.
On Tuesday (Oct. 19), GITEX will also introduce the first ever GITEX Cloud Confex. Sponsored by HP, it features an exhibition and a series of in-depth sessions dedicated to Cloud Computing, often referred to the 'essential ICT cost-cutter' and set to become a global IT trend. Key industry speakers include Xavier Poisson Gouyou Beauchamps, EMA Enterprise Server Storage & Networks, Sales Director, Converged Infrastructure, HP and Chris Baker, SVP Core Technology Business, Oracle Europe, Middle East and Africa.
Also on Monday (Oct. 18) is the first of the GITEX Global Conference, a series of discussion and debate sessions, featuring local and international industry experts. Key speakers include Nazih Lebbos, VP Managed Services MEA, Alcatel-Lucent and Tamouh Khauli, Chief Information Security Officer, Orange Jordan. The conference has more than 30 streams covering the full spectrum of information and communication technology issues.