Visitors during the Gitex Technology Week at the Trade Center Exhibition Hall, Dubai. Image Credit: Abdel-Krim Kallouche/Gulf News


As the curtains came down on the 34th Gitex Technology Week 2014, exhibitors, organisers and visitors hailed the event for its inclusive insights into the latest issues and trends prevailing in the information and communication technology (ICT) industry.

Top leaders from the largest ICT companies converged in Dubai for a five-day event that encouraged almost 100,000 conference attendees from 150 countries to focus on innovation and redefine the future.

“Gitex has been good for us this year. We had lot of very good discussions and engagements with customers, partners and new potential customers. We have Sharjah Police highlighting some of the works we are doing with them at our stand. We had discussions with specific requirements on networks and security systems,” said Dave Brooke, general manager of Dell Middle East.

Every year, he said that it is all about “quality and not quantity” of discussions. Number of people is not relevant from a Dell perspective. Gitex is not an environment where companies come and close a deal. Gitex is “more symbolic”.

“We use Gitex as more of an update session with existing customers and with future potential customers,” he said.

Dell launched its 34-inch curved LED PC screen, first in the world and priced at $999, has attracted a lot of attention and one of the wow products at the event.

Companies which signed major multimillion dirham deals include Ericsson, Huawei, Cisco, Microsoft, Etisalat and du with a host of regional private and public sector entities.

“SAP saw strong success at Gitex 2014, as we are committed to driving the region’s growth, and especially Dubai Smart City’s technology-based transformation. At the event, we demonstrated to businesses how our industry-leading cloud-based SAP Hana platform to help businesses run simple and enhance ROI with Big Data, and how organisations’ HR departments can best train the next generation workforce on cloud solutions,” said Sam Al Kharrat, President of SAP MENA.

He said that SAP will strongly consider returning to Gitex 2015, as “we are dedicated to taking the region and especially Dubai to the next level in its economic development.”

Ahmad Elkhatib, Managing Partner at Shifra said that Gitex is always gets bigger and better, and making it the best platform to meet with resellers, system integrators and end users from around the region.

“We have closed a major deal with one of the largest universities in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia providing secure mobility for their students, staff and faculty,” he said.

For many public and private entities, Gitex has become the most important event in their annual agenda.

The event offers a unique platform for local, regional and international entities from across the public and private sector to come together under one roof and strike long-term partnerships that foster innovation, drive revenues and heighten consumer engagement, said Trixie LohMirmand, senior vice-president, exhibitions and events management, Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC), the show organiser.

“Gitex has always been synonymous with business, deals and transactions — that reputation has been further enhanced at the sold-out 2014 show and delivered strong, demonstrable return on investment for exhibitors.’’

Next year’s event will be held in October but the dates are not yet fixed.

“Exactly one year after His Highness Shaikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, announcement to turn Dubai into a smart city, we are seeing many of these projects coming to life, and Gitex is vibrant with an array of smart technologies and applications, with UAE’s government bodies in the driver’s seat and guiding the many smart city initiatives,” said Eric Claudel, President for Middle East and Africa at Gemalto.