His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, officially opened Gitex Technology Week (Monday 9 October), celebrating the 31st anniversary of one of the world’s top ICT events.
Accompanying Sheikh Mohammed were His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation, His Highness Sheikh Majid bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Dubai Culture & Arts Authority, His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai Aviation Authority, along with several other dignitaries and Mr Helal Saeed Almarri, 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, to conduct business with many of the world’s most illustrious technology organisations. More than 3,500 companies from 57 countries, including first time appearances from Kazakhstan, Latvia, Malta, Morocco, Palestine and new national pavillions from Bangladesh, Italy, Kazakhstan, Lebanon, Morocco, Pakistan, Scotland and Spain are showcasing their latest products and services to more than 130,000 visitors at the five-day event, which runs until Thursday at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre.
Mr Almarri said: “We are honored to have His Highness Sheikh Mohammed open the 31st anniversary of Gitex Technology Week. Gitex is the lynchpin of the technology industry in the Middle East and a crucial event for the leading decision-makers who are either based in the region or looking to enter one of the fastest growing ICT markets in the world.”
Among the opening day highlights, the Global Leaders Summit and the brand new Cyber Security @ Gitex proved to be among the biggest draws. The Global Leaders Summit attracted hundreds of senior ICT professionals who were given expert insights on the theme of ‘Innovation in Leadership’ by some of the most respected authorities in their field, including keynote Speaker Chris Dedicoat, President EMEA of Cisco, who delivered an inspirational speech on how to achieve sustainable growth in the Middle East. Pranav Mistry, a visionary inventor with an ambition to drive the boundaries of computing also made an impact with his brilliant human interface concepts and prototypes, which were debuted for the first time in the Middle East.
The CyberSecurity @ Gitex initiative was an instant success with presentations and insights from Jeff Moss, CSO, ICANN, Abu Dhabi Police, aeCERT, McAfee and Blackhat, with more to come throughout the week, including an in-depth study from Symantec on the Norton Report 2011: ‘The true impact of Cybercrime’. To further raise awareness and highlight the sophistication and speed of breaches of data, some of the world’s most skillful hackers will take part in the first ever Middle East and India regional finals of the Global CyberLympics Championships, to be held on 10, 11, 12 October. The feature will present a series of ethical hacking games relayed live on screens around the virtual battlefield.
On Monday October 10, InfoComm Middle East and Africa (MEA) 2011 will make its regional debut in a joint collaboration between Dubai World Trade Centre in an effort by the international association of pro AudioVisual and information communication industries to help AV professionals and end-users in the region to keep abreast of latest developments and expand their skills and knowledge. More info