Gitex, the Middle East’s premier telecommunications, IT and electronics trade show, got underway in Dubai on October 28, with about 500 exhibitors representing more than 1500 companies from 32 countries. The show will run for three days.
The show will feature 10 international pavilions, with three representing countries from the region, namely Lebanon, Syria and Egypt. The other pavilions feature companies from the United States, Canada, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Ireland, Great Britain and France. Many of the world’s leading companies are present, including Microsoft, Toshiba, Compaq, Novell, Sun Microsystems, Acer, Silicon Graphics, LG Electronics, Cisco Systems, Alcatel, IBM and Sony.
The Egyptian pavilion features 80 companies, many of them specializing in Arabic-language software. Ahmed Al-Nazi, the Egyptian minister of communication and information is attending the show.
The show will see numerous Middle East products, some of which are exclusively targeted at consumers in the region. These include the Sony Play Station II, which was launched in the United States last week. PlayStation 2 is designed to bring together movies, music and games to form a new world of computer entertainment that combines superior digital graphics, sound and DVD video.
Sony is also showing its VAIO PictureGear, which features a built-in video camera that clicks pictures and automatically downloads them into the computer, and the Memory Stick, a universal data storage device that is as small as a chewing gum stick, and can inter-link the VAIO, Sony's new notebook and its range of various digital audio and video products, as well as the PlayStation 2.
Microsoft is featuring Office 2000 running on the Arabic Windows 2000 for the first time.
IBM is displaying a range of systems, including the Arabic Via Voice Millennium, which is an easy way to create text and navigate desktop applications. Silicon Graphics is introducing to the region its newest Intel processor-based workstations running either Windows or Linux.
Several Middle Eastern companies are looking to give the multinational a run for their money. These include the Thuraya Satellite Telecommunications Company, which expects to start delivering satellite plus GSM services in the fourth quarter of 2000.
Another is the Cairo-based Sakhr Software, which provides a range of products tailored for the use of governments in the region. These include Sakhr's Enterprise Translation System (SET), which is Intranet web-enabled translation system that provides server-based automatic translation, which automatically translates text from English into Arabic, and the Sakhr Press Solution (SPS), an integrated system for building, archiving and retrieving press information. — (Albawaba-MEBG)
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