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GITEX 2019 to Focus on AI, Automation, 5G and Smart Homes

Dubai will be the epicentre of the innovation economy in October when GITEX Technology Week and GITEX Future Stars – the region’s premier technology and startup events – get underway from 6th-10th October 2019. GITEX Technology Week’s 39th edition will present the region’s biggest-ever 5G showcase, its most illustrious investor-startup gathering, and a springboard for knowledge-building around AI, robotics and next-generation immersive technology, all encompassed under the movement of ‘Synergising the Mind and Technology Economy’.

These topics, along with thousands of concepts and brands, will be showcased live in the company of 100,000+ tech experts and across 1.4 million square feet and 22 halls divided into sectors including 5G, Artificial Intelligence, Future Mobility, GITEX Lifestyle Tech and Smart Cities, which will be the definitive venue for insight into the smart government of the future. Saudi Arabia is the official country partner for GITEX 2019, and will be represented by its smart logistics platform Fasah.

Trixie LohMirmand, Senior Vice President, Events Management, Dubai World Trade Centre, organisers of GITEX, said: “Technologies, no matter how revolutionary they may be, offer no value to us unless they can create experiences to augment the well-being of individuals and larger society. GITEX continues to be the definitive platform where enterprises, startups and government entities come together, striving to engage the global technology community to harness the limitless ingenuity of humans and the power of technology to ensure meaningful benefits and impacts on society through intelligent discourse.”

Nearly a decade in the making, 5G is finally becoming a reality and is set to transform the Middle East’s economy. It represents a major breakthrough that will change the way that devices connect to the internet, and to each other. The Middle East and Africa region is set to be at the centre of the 5G revolution, with 30 million 5G mobile subscriptions expected in the region by 2024, and all six GCC countries expected to launch 5G mobile services in the next two years, with the UAE aiming to deploy 5G by 2020. GITEX’s 5G Countdown conference agenda will explore how 5G will revolutionise Industry 4.0, smart cities and autonomous vehicles, as well as getting to the bottom of 5G security concerns.

GITEX is set to feature a key presence from 5G heavyweights that are already in the process of transforming the world’s connectivity. Etisalat is already leading the race to deploy 5G in the Middle East, and will use GITEX to exhibit some of the most compelling use cases for the technology. “5G is the major focus this year with a showcase of digital transformation and innovation expected across industry verticals like transportation, retail, healthcare, manufacturing, aviation and oil and gas. This is in line with the UAE’s Vision 2021 and Etisalat’s strategy ‘Driving the Digital Future to Empower Societies’. At GITEX this year, we will showcase 5G-powered solutions for the first time globally, as it’s the perfect platform to inspire the visitors and customers to experience the immense potential of future revolutions and technologies,” said Dr. Ahmed Bin Ali, Group Senior Vice President, Etisalat.

Global 5G leader Huawei has set out its stall to be the cornerstone of the ICT industry, with its multi-pronged approach to deliver world-class devices, networks, and cloud, and will be showcasing its technology portfolio at GITEX. “Within the Middle East and internationally, 5G is gaining strong momentum in its commercial adoption. We have seen this first-hand by working on more than fifty 5G commercial contracts and shipping over 200,000 5G base stations worldwide. Meanwhile, we have seen industries starting to embrace 5G, with it exploding into prominence by improving efficiency in many industries. By adding AI capabilities to the next generation of ICT products, AI also becomes more readily available for different fields of scientific research and business innovation. This combination will deliver more intelligence across every touchpoint of the digital economy,” said Hani Sobih ELKukhun, Vice President, Strategy, Huawei Middle East.

Swedish 5G giant Ericsson will have a key presence at GITEX, with the firm having already announced 24 global 5G contracts with major operators, including four in the Middle East, with over 40% of global mobile traffic currently passing through Ericsson’s networks. “The exciting turning point that we have been eagerly waiting for is finally being realised. Today, 5G technology is a commercial reality, with several markets already switching on 5G during the course of 2019. From discussion to action, efforts to roll out 5G in the fastest, smoothest, and most efficient way are gradually paying off. As an emerging technology, 5G is unleashing potential that is yet to be realised.  I believe GITEX 2019 is a great forum to inspire consumers and enterprises with the unlimited opportunities that 5G will bring us,” said Wojciech Bajda, Vice President, Middle East, and Africa, and Head of Gulf Council Countries, Ericsson.

GITEX Future Stars, the leading event for tomorrow’s brightest technological minds, will feature over 750 local and international startups and corporate accelerators from more than 80 countries, and more than 1,500 investors and corporate buyers, as well as an all-new presence from countries including Austria, Brazil, and Italy. GITEX Future Stars will  see the Government of Abu Dhabi looking to make its mark on the event, with the Emirate’s hottest innovation prospects, including Hub71, Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), StartAD, Krypto Labs, Department of Health Abu Dhabi, all aiming to put Abu Dhabi on the map as an innovation hub of the future. Abu Dhabi has pledged AED 535 million into Hub71, a new initiative supported by Mubadala Investment Company, Microsoft, SoftBank Vision Fund and Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), to attract startups to set up shop in the UAE capital.

Winds of change are blowing in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which will host its Saudi Innovation Day at GITEX Future Stars.  The country’s economic transformation will be accelerated by startups as the country moves from a commodity-based to a knowledge-based economy, which is in line with its economic Vision 2030. Startups and SMEs will undoubtedly bring Saudi Arabia a step closer to achieve its 2030 objectives. GITEX will host a panel discussion highlighting the country’s key startup ecosystem builders and their initiatives to provide access to market, government entities, capital, talent, and networks in order to create an impactful Saudi startup ecosystem. A panel discussion on the Kingdom’s startup prospects will feature Dr. Ahmed Al Theneyan, Deputy Minister, Saudi Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, Nawaf Al Sahhaf, CEO, BADIR, Dr. Nabeel Koshak of Saudi Venture Capital Company and Othman Dahash Aldahash, Vice President, Corporate Development, STC Group.

The GITEX Artificial Intelligence Zone will unleash five incredible days of non-stop free learning sessions, 10 Hours of INSEAD-powered AI Workshops and will cover the paradigm-shifting ways that AI is affecting agriculture, construction, procurement, marketing, factory automation and government. World-leading AI expert and GITEX keynote speaker Dr. Ben Goertzel, Chairman and Chief Scientist of Singularity Studio, and CEO and Founder of SingularityNET Foundation, will reveal how AI will merge with blockchain to create deep value for businesses and society, increase human life expectancy and support medical research. Dr. Goertzel is well-known in the technology world as the former chief scientist of Hanson Robotics, creator of social humanoid robot Sophia.

Siemens is making its GITEX debut this year, and the industrial automation and IoT leader will showcase the ways that intelligent infrastructure will be the foundation of the world’s future smart cities. “We aim to demonstrate how the Internet of Things can have a positive impact on both economy and society. At GITEX, we’ll show how we’re working with Expo 2020 Dubai to create a blueprint for future smart cities, using our cloud-based platform for the Internet of Things, MindSphere. Additionally, we’ll focus on how the industrial sector can benefit from embracing the digital transformation, using IoT technology to drive economic development through intelligently digitalised industry,” said Franco Atassi, Head of Smart Infrastructure, Siemens Middle East.

The latest in high-tech transport solutions will be featured in the Future Mobility segment of GITEX, with companies such as General Motors and Rolls Royce showcasing how the latest advances in IoT and 5G will reinvent the transport paradigm. GITEX Lifestyle Tech will serve as the intersection between 21st Century innovation and a healthier life, with 225 million wearable devices expected to be shipped in 2019. In the Middle East alone, the smart home technology market is expected to reach $1.86 billion by 2022, while the consumer electronics market in the UAE will climb 6% to reach nearly $3.8 billion this year.

Samsung will provide game-changing insights into the smart home of the future. GITEX visitors will get the chance to get a first look at Samsung’s newest mobile devices including the Galaxy Note 10 5G and Galaxy Fold, as well as Samsung’s groundbreaking advancements in 5G connectivity, which the company has been bringing to life over the past decade. World-leading 360-degree camera specialist Insta 360 will be launching its regional presence at Lifestyle Tech, as well as flaunting its GO portable camera, which features game-changing auto-intelligent editing and digital video stabilisation.

GITEX Future Stars will spotlight the transformative impact of generation Z with the introduction of its NXG Stage. The latest generation of digital natives, Gen Z are at the forefront of the digital economy, with a buying power of $44 billion. With 60% of the MENA region population under the age of 25, GITEX will provide a platform for the future’s technology leaders, developers, and consumers on the dedicated Gen Z stage.

The GITEX Future Stars NXG programme is set to feature content from some of the most exciting and inspiring global members and influencers of Gen Z, including 22-year-old technology architect Iddris Sandu, who has already coded for Google, Instagram and Snapchat, collaborated with hip-hop star Kanye West and received honours from former United States President Barack Obama. The NXG programme will also feature 21-year-old Akshay Ruparelia, who has been labelled “the new Mark Zuckerberg” by international media, and is founder and managing director of the 14th largest real estate agency in the UK, Doorsteps.co.uk, the company he started while he was still at school.

Held under the theme ‘Synergising the Mind and Technology Economy’, the 39th annual GITEX Technology Week and GITEX Future Stars will be hosted at Dubai World Trade Centre from 6-10 October 2019 and is set to host over 100,000 visitors from across the technology ecosystem. Across its 1.3 million square foot venue, GITEX Technology Week will welcome over 4,800 exhibitors from over 100 countries, and host 290 hours of content over five days, while GITEX Future Stars will feature over 750 international startups and more than 1,500 investors and corporate buyers.

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Chris Fernando

Chris N. Fernando is an experienced media professional with over two decades of journalistic experience. He is the Editor of Arabian Reseller magazine, the authoritative guide to the regional IT industry. Follow him on Twitter (@chris508) and Instagram (@chris2508).

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