“Transformative” Tech to be Showcased at GITEX 2018

Dubai will be the epicentre of the creative digital world once again next week when GITEX Technology Week andGITEX Future Stars – the region’s premier technology and startup events – get underway. Serving a Middle East and North African IT market set to be worth $230 billion-a-year by the end of 2018, the twin tech expos – one of the biggest tech events in the world, held at Dubai World Trade Centre, October 14th-18th – will feature more than 4,000 innovative exhibitors from 100+ countries and 290 hours of expert keynote and panel discussion, offering the ultimate hands-on experience of the world of tomorrow.

GITEX Technology Week’s 38th edition will present the region’s biggest ever AI event, its most illustrious investor-startup gathering, and the launch-pad for tens of thousands of game-changing technologies including 5G, robotics, virtual and augmented reality, all celebrated under the tagline ‘Experience Future Urbanism’.

Huge global names like Amazon, Google, Microsoft, HPE, SAP, Alibaba Cloud and Huawei are just some of the tech juggernauts firms unveiling their latest revolutionary tech at GITEX Technology Week – concepts that range from car windows that double-up as entertainment packed touchscreen video platforms to X-ray scanning mirrors. GITEX Future Stars is ready to take “mind-blowing” to the next level: from sit-in pods that provide a full health check-up and diagnosis quicker than it takes to call a doctor (BodyO), to the world’s smallest and most lightweight robotic lunar rovers and lunar landers (ispace).

These concepts and thousands more will be showcased live in the company of 100,000+ tech experts and across 1.4million square feet and 21 halls divided into sectors including Global Smart Cities, IoT (the Internet of Things), Smart Workplaces, Cloud, Cyber Security and Future Tech.

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 the individuals and larger society. We are proud that GITEX enterprises, startups and government entities come together, striving to transform intricate tech talk into meaningful manifestations of happiness that are relatable, accessible and in reach of a truly inquisitive and intelligent audience.”

The AI Boom:
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is projected to have a $3.9 trillion business value by 2022 – and that boom will be reflected across GITEX. Hundreds of internationally renowned companies will be demonstrating live how robots and AI will help businesses grow and change, while startups will exhibit their most unconventional takes on the future tech. Together, they will make GITEX the Middle East’s biggest AI gathering to date. Standouts include:

  • UBTECH Robotics – recently announced as the World’s Most Valuable AI Startup – will be unveiling their Cruzr robot; a cloud-based intelligent humanoid with some of the most flexible robotic limbs ever seen
  • GIS International’s ‘Sanbot’ will be on show, complete with its matrix design that incorporates 360-degree Wrap-Around technology, utilising over 60 sensors to give Sanbot perfect awareness of its surroundings
  • SparkCognition – named ninth on the Wall Street Journal’s Tech Companies to Watch 2018 list, and who have just announced a collaboration with Boeing – will also feature their latest AI-led robot
  • Amro Kamel will introduce the ‘Promobot V.4’, a robot equipped with two printers and an in-built PIN pad
  • Dubai Police will officially welcome virtual police officer AMNA to the force at GITEX: a robot that uses Artificial Intelligence to help members of the public report crimes and file important documentation
  • Bluephin’s self-swimming waste collecting robot will be making waves as it demonstrates its capabilities in collecting up to 350kg of trash every two hours

Huawei will unveil AI that they predict will revolutionise how governments, businesses, and consumers interact with the world, presenting a new AI Chipset with machine learning algorithm and a number of Enterprise Intelligence applications based on AI technologies.

Walid Gomaa, VP, Data Center & Cloud Solutions, Enterprise Business, Huawei Middle East, said: “AI technologies will be a game-changer for people and organisations in the Middle East. The world is overwhelmed by the adoption of many AI applications. At GITEX, Huawei will show how people and organisation can make use of AI’s full potential. AI will open new venues for economic growth, unlock new opportunities, and underpin the next leap forward into an intelligent world, where businesses, people, vehicles, homes and devices are fully connected. We are excited to meet with our customers and partners at GITEX to discuss how the region can best capitalise on AI adoption to reach its full potential.”

AI will be at the heart of SAP’s ‘The Intelligent Enterprise’ exhibiting theme, itself aimed at showcasing how the future of Smart Cities can reimagine our daily lives. The firm will also use GITEX for the Middle East debut of one of the world’s smartest concept cars.

Gergi Abboud, SVP & MD, Middle East South, SAP, said: “Dubai, the UAE, and the Middle East have the vision and appetite to become the world’s smartest regions. Aligned with GITEX’s theme of ‘Future Urbanism,’ SAP will exchange global best practices in smart cities development to unlock unprecedented economic value and transform society and the environment. Building on our live cloud data centres in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the UAE, we will also showcase how Intelligent Enterprises can leverage artificial intelligence, machine learning, blockchain, and the Internet of Things to drive new levels of competitiveness and digital citizen and customer experiences.”

HPE will allow businesses to experience their latest solutions to ramp up, optimize and scale AI across varied industry sectors. Lorenzo Gonzales, HPE’s Chief of Digital Innovation and Global Presales Strategist, will also be leading the AI-led “Intelligent City: HPE digital (r)evolution of a Smart City” discussion at GITEX.

Fabio Fontana, VP & Managing Director of Middle East at Hewlett Packard Enterprise, said: “This is a world where everything computes and creates massive amounts of data; Memory-Driven Computing and AI enable customers to capture and process their data, and turn it into insight, action and value. We are excited to be at GITEX this year and discuss how organisations can harness the power of data to provide a competitive edge and enhance new experiences.”

GITEX’s eight conference verticals will provide more than 290 hours of unmissable expert led seminars. Hugely influential speakers include:

  • Wanli Min, Chief Machine Intelligence Scientist at Alibaba, who will exclusively share how his game-changing City Brain software made Hangzhou, China, the world’s first city to manage the entirety of its road and services network through AI
  • Brian McBride – the e-commerce giant charged with helping lead both Amazon and ASOS to becoming two of the world’s biggest brands – will divulge his secrets on e-retail success, outlining the brave online decisions that can turn an entire industry on its head
  • Google’s Chief Decision Scientist Cassie Kozyrkov brought the practice of Decision Intelligence to Google and single-handedly advises leadership teams on decision process, AI strategy, and building data-driven organisations. She will make a keynote at GITEX Future Stars
  • Joe Federer of Reddit, whose ad campaigns for the website’s clients and partners have performed among the top 95% in Facebook advertiser studies, will explain exactly how he did just that
  • Amazon’s Vice President for Global Innovation Policy and Communications Paul Misener will illustrate how the company has sustained customer-focused innovation, and will offer advice on how other organisations can adopt Amazon’s methods for innovation
  • Rami Sarieddine, Senior Technology Evangelist at Microsoft, will teach the benefits of infusing AI capabilities into applications and solutions, letting attendees experience how to add AI capabilities to existing or new solutions
  • Neal Cross, Chief Innovation Officer at DBS Bank, Singapore – and recently declared the most disruptive CIO globally – will give a keynote on the incredible innovation that earned him that tag

GITEX Future Stars will see a growth of more than 80% in startup participation this year. At the show, 700+ tech startups will draw the attention of 1,500 of the elitist VCs, corporate buyers and incubators found anywhere in the world. Google Ventures, the Amazon Venture Fund, IFC-World Bank Group, IDG Ventures, Draper Associates and the European Business Angel Network have all chosen the show to find the next world-changing tech to invest their money into.

Saudi Arabia’s non-profit Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Foundation (MiSK) is devoted to cultivating learning and leadership in youth. At GITEX MiSK will be launching their own innovation department, bringing 20 startups from KSA to showcase their creative tech. The Kingdom has committed $45 billion to investing in tech, and regional startups are relishing all the attention – the next step of which will be GITEX Future Stars’ Saudi Acceleration Day. Sponsored by TAQNIA – the KSA incubator investing in technologies and startups that contribute towards Saudi’s economic diversification – the mentoring programme will allow young firms to receive expert mentoring on site. The Saudi Telecom Company’s (STC) InspireU initiative will bring its fourth batch of ten startups to the show too.

The inaugural GITEX Global Investors Summit (G2i) will be the show’s first ever gathering of distinguished investors, hosting more than 400 prolific global, regional and local venture funds, LPs, family offices, and institutional and private investors from 30 countries to assess and access local and regional investment opportunities. Notable speakers include Vani Kola, Founder and Managing Director of Kalaari Capital, one of India’s most powerful early stage VC firm and Anthony Herman, Venture Fund Lead of Amazon and a founding member of the $1.39bn fund Formation 8.

GITEX will feature the strongest Middle East and North African Government involvement of any exhibition, with nearly 250 government arms set to offer live demonstrations across the show’s Global Smart Cities platform. Dubai Legislation Committee is the first interactive legislative platform in the world to enable the trade, business and finance sector to participate in the formulation of commercial, economic, and financial legislation. They will be showcasing their smart services for the first time. Smart Dubai is inviting visitors to experience first-hand how emerging technologies will be implemented to help Dubai achieve its goal of becoming a truly paperless city by 2021.

In what will be the UAE’s most visual demonstration yet of the life-altering capabilities of 5G – a tech that Middle East mobile operators are predicted to invest up to $50billion in by 2021 – both Etisalat and du will reveal their unique visions of the unlimited possibilities of the super-speed network that will run 100x faster than 4G, live trialling 5G in demonstrations covering healthcare, remote robotic surgery, AR/VR, IoT, autonomous technologies, cloud computing and more.

Pushing even further into the future, and GITEX Future Stars’ inaugural Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) Space Innovation Challenge – one of four innovation competitions running at GITEX Future Stars – will reward the world’s best space travel startup a $60,000 top prize, incubation with MBRSC and an agreement for potential future work with both the MBRSC and the UAE Space Agency. Entries so far include lunar exploration rovers through satellites capable of locating plastic pollution dumped at the foot of the ocean.

“Our participation at GITEX is a testament of our success and reinforces our commitment to contribute to the future of mankind,” said Adnan Al Rais, Project Manager Mars 2117, Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC). “We have been on a transformative journey and we are delighted to support young space entrepreneurs that will be the success stories of tomorrow.”

The event will also offer the opportunity to startups to win investment. The GITEX Supernova Challenge returns, with a total of $180,000 up for grabs across its four prize categories – the Best Global Startup of which will take home a cool $100,000, the largest prize of its kind in the MENA region. The Accenture Innovation Awards will also grant one winning startup an all-expenses paid trip to Silicon Valley.

“With the constant evolution we are facing in the digital world, now more than ever companies need to understand how they can best leverage innovative technologies to support their teams and organisations,” said Alexis Lecanuet, regional managing director for Accenture in the Middle East and Turkey. “Being the digital transformation partner, we are proud to share this opportunity with both GITEX and the Dubai World Trade Centre. This event is an important occasion for leaders and industry specialists to gather crucial information about the upcoming trends and keep up with digital movements that are happening both locally and globally.”

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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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