Meet the robots and the 'flying' cars at Gitex Global 2022. The action on the ground on opening day of Dubai's high-visibility tech event is frenetic. Image Credit: Anupam Varma/Gulf News

Dubai: Gitex Global is open – and going by the immediate rush and reaction is already in line to be the biggest ever in the annual tech event hosted by Dubai.

More than 5,000 companies have lined up in the 20 plus halls at Dubai World Trade Centre along with humanoid robots, lots of AI on show, and just about all the cutting-edge tech that can be put up.

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, took to his Twitter account on Sunday to welcome international delegates and technology companies to Gitex Global 2022.

The event on Monday was inaugurated by Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance.

Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance at the e& stand. There is a lot of horsepower on the stands, and suitably amped up on the tech side too Image Credit: Anupam Varma/Gulf News

“Gitex Global, which started in 1981, has put Dubai on the global map of technology, which tops the list of Dubai’s priorities,” Sheikh Mohammed said in his tweet.

According to IT industry insiders, the buzz has got everything to do with the sustained ICT spending and the scale of the tech projects that are coming off the pipeline in the UAE. “The government and its departments are the early adopters of the new round of tech – they are not waiting around for the ‘right time’ to invest,” said a consultant at one of the bigger firms. “When there’s this heavy a commitment from the top, the rest will follow.”

Even as government agencies bring out potential real-time uses for AI, Machine Learning, or the Metaverse, they are keeping an eye on the bigger picture. Of integrating all that technology into offering seamless services across all consumer facing operations. If not within weeks or months, then in the ‘immediate future’.

At the Gitex Global stands, there are robots to be seen, and they don’t seem out of place. It does seem they know their way around – and, most important, know what they are doing.

"Our key focus for returning to Gitex this year is the increasing focus on robots and their capabilities," said Ashish Panjabi, Chief Operating Officer at Jacky's Electronics in Dubai. "We are looking to collaborate with developers to create and enhance applications for these new robots - including the new version of them that offers RaaS (Robot as a Service) business model."

Check out - the cars

There are lots of cars – not surprising because of all the heavy tech onboarding today’s models feature. What you see at the stands have been amped up to go the extra tech-mile. And probably do some driver-less rounds – and even a bit of flying.

Now comes the Metaverse

Banish all thoughts about this artificial landscape being too futuristic at this time. Then, the chances are you would be thinking the same way as those who dismissed the World Wide Web as a fad a generation ago. Or ecommerce not being the ‘real’ thing.

In Dubai, in the UAE, there is clear thinking about what the Metaverse can be done for the greater good. Clearly, it won’t just be about digital avatars – that helps – but there are multiple ways that real things and deeds can be done using the underlying technology.