Last Updated: Mon Oct 10, 2011 11:52 am (KSA) 08:52 am (GMT)

Curtains up on Gitex 2011 tech fair in Dubai

The annual technology fair, Gitex, opened this week in Dubai, showcasing top gadgets and gizmos to wow tech-savvy visitors. (Photo courtesy of World Trade Centre)
The annual technology fair, Gitex, opened this week in Dubai, showcasing top gadgets and gizmos to wow tech-savvy visitors. (Photo courtesy of World Trade Centre)

In its annual boost to the Middle East technology market, leading tech exhibition Gitex launched in Dubai this week, showcasing an estimated 25,000 gadgets and gizmos from the world’s top manufacturers of electronics and computing devices.

The event flaunts consumer electronics from 160 participating retailers and brands, including IBM, Google, Research In Motion, Dell, HTC, Intel as well as a host of local retailers.

The exhibition’s theme this year, “Redefine the Future,” sets to track the latest tech-savvy trends, opportunities and solutions most relevant to the region’s businesses in particular.

“Gitex … is committed to driving even more investment and creating more business opportunities in the Middle East technology market,” said Helal Saeed Almarri, the CEO of tghe Dubai World Trade Centre, organizer of the event.

The huge UAE technology show has been in operation for more than three decades and has grown alongside technology advancements and upward progress in the retail sector. The UAE consumer electronics market is forecast by Business Monitor International to be worth $3.4 billion by the end of this year. This ranks second only to Saudi Arabia in the region.

Still, it has been a rough ride for tech development in the UAE, after the recession hit Dubai’s market – the region’s technology powerhouse – harder than originally anticipated.

Global IT spending slipped by more than 5 per cent during the recession years of 2008 and 2009, according to research company IDC.

The economic dip had even prompted many companies to reconsider paying for a stand at the Gitex Technology Week.

“Pre-recession, it was pretty great for us, but we had two years post-recession where it was a bit slow and down,” Allwyn Gaekwad, the area manager for Prince Computers, told a Gulf daily newspaper.

“This is the only IT-related show for the region, so we need to be a part of it as an IT distributor,” he said.

Gitex, which will run until Oct. 15, also is an opportunity for tech fans to choose from a range of deals and products at reduced prices.

Fujitsu, Motorola, Canon and HTC are among the exhibitors that are offering special prices and offers on tablet computers, cameras and smartphones.

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