Delegates and visitors on the final day of 36th Gitex Technology Week, which came to an end yesterday at the Dubai World Trade Centre. Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/ Gulf News

Dubai: The 36 edition of Gitex Technology Week closed on a positive note on Thursday with a focus on robotics, 3D printing, virtual reality, augmented reality, drones, start-ups and live demos on latest technologies.

Etisalat tested 5G live trials, reaching 36Gbps speed to help it cope with the massive digital content explosion anticipated in the next few years while du in partnership with Nokia demonstrated the Middle East’s first 4K 360 degree 3D virtual reality (VR) video streaming using 5G-ready network.

Robotics, along with drones and 3D printing, are three interrelated technologies that are rapidly decreasing in cost, advancing in sophistication, and driving innovation.

“Demand for 3D printing used to come from universities before but now it is even coming from schools. The intake by consumers is still not there yet but it is a matter of time,” said Ashsih Panjabi, Chief Operating Officer of Jacky’s Business Solutions.

UAE start-up DigiRobotics showcased the first virtual reality robotic simulator, first 3D-printed car and first 3D-printed humanoid robot.

“The UAE has shown how to imagine the future on a grand scale. Experts and futurists see the world changing in the near future, in a place where new ideas are especially welcomed,” said Trixie LohMirmand, senior vice-president for exhibitions and events management at Dubai World Trade Centre.

The five-day event witnessed the most global weeklong start-up event in 2016, more than 410 start-ups from 60 countries and 1,200 tech founders.

“The opportunity to meet with start-up teams from around the world and from different industries in one place face-to-face is very valuable and highly effective,” said Erich Sieber, Partner and senior vice-president of Inventages venture capital.

Raed Hafez, founder of Dubai grocery delivery app start-up el Grocer, praised the volume of opportunities at Gitex Global Startup Movement.

“In a span of three days, we met with ten investors. In the one-on-one meetings, we were able to meet a number of key investors who showed significant interest in our next funding round.”

Ramkumar Balakrishnan, President of Redington Value Distribution, said that there has been an increased enterprise-focus over the past three years.

“There is a big change in the consumption model of IT. Customers are moving towards the Opex model. They want to consume IT like they consume other forms of utilities,” he said.

Balakrishnan sees converged and hyper-converged infrastructure, adoption of cloud, Big Data and IoT as the main technologies that are going to drive future growth.

“This year, we connected with new prospects, further developed our brand awareness, and educated partners and customers about seamlessly managing data across different IT platforms,” said Fadi Kanafani, Regional Director for Middle East and Africa at NetApp.


Next year’s Gitex Technology Week will take place from October 8-12 at Dubai World Trade Centre.