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Gitex 2008 dodges financial slump
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 24 - 10 - 2008

Gitex Technology Week closes on a high, after five business-packed days of product launches, announcements and impressive business deals, cementing its position as one of the most important IT exhibitions in the world.
Visitor numbers to-date suggests the exhibition continues to grow in spite of the much talked about world-wide economic slow down.
Just a few of the major deals done across the course of the week included Dubai EGovernment signing a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with eHosting to promote e-services for creating a paperless environment. ETA InfoTech announced a AED 55 million deal to invest in healthcare and education. Dell Middle East announced that Orion Holdings, a key player in the Financial Services Industry in UAE, has become the first Middle East customer to adopt the newly launched Dell/EMC CX4 data storage system.
“Gitex Technology Week is the first choice for any company looking to develop and extend their reach in the Middle East,” said Helal Saeed Almarri, Director General, Dubai World Trade Centre, organizer Gitex Technology Week. “This year has seen some of the most exciting deals done in the Middle East and we are delighted with the feedback from industry leaders on their participation.”
Samsung Gulf Electronics launched the new Omnia and Innov8 mobile phones at the exhibition. “We are very pleased with our successful participation in Gitex Technology Week 2008. The exhibition is an excellent platform for us to launch our latest products from AV to IT and mobile phone product lines to the Middle East. We have had positive feedback from consumers, business partners and prospective clients alike,” said Ranjan Mazumdar, vice president, Samsung Gulf Electronics.
Another of the major exhibitors at this year's event was Oracle which was inundated for its free enterprise consultations during the week. “Oracle sees Gitex Technology Week 2008 as the perfect platform to showcase customer success, proven by our announcements this week,” said Dana Murugan, senior marketing director for the Middle East and North Africa. “At Gitex Technology Week 2008 our customers to the stand have been senior decision makers discussing our latest and innovative portfolio and we expect to have an increased impact in the Middle East through our business partners with our locally and globally designed solutions.”
One of the leading companies in the Gulfcomms section of Gitex Technology Week was Avaya. Roger El-Tawil, director for Channel and Marketing for Avaya MENA and Turkey said: “Gitex Technology Week, the largest ICT exhibition in the Middle East, has on the whole been a fruitful week for Avaya Intelligent Communications. We have met with many business opportunities, which will require further discussion after Gitex Technology Week.”
Etisalat announced a special campaign for the ‘More' rewards program that credits rewards points to Etisalat mobile customers. Commenting on Etisalat's participation, Essa Al Haddad, chief marketing officer, Etisalat, said: “Gitex provides a perfect platform for Etisalat to demonstrate its strong international presence, the ingenuity behind Etisalat's customer-centric solutions and services, our robust and mutually rewarding partnerships and the holistic power of Etisalat brand.”
During Gitex Technology Week, dudu partnered with Sony Pictures to show mobile content of the new James Bond movie. Osman Sultan, CEO, dudu, said: “Our focus this year at Gitex Technology Week was on content as well as segment marketing and we leveraged the opportunity well, to showcase our expertise. This was a great avenue for us to announce new initiatives and strengthen our existing relationships with both our partners and customers. As we come to a close on this year's event, we wish organizers of Gitex all the very best as it further grows in scope as well as stature in years to come.”
Speaking on the experience of Ericsson Middle East, Gabriel B. Sjogren, head of Business Development MENA said: “Gitex Technology Week 2008 has generated a number of business leads in terms of partnership agreements in the MENA region. However, further discussions will take place after GITEX with regards to our products such as the XL XPERIA Smartphone and our MD400 USB wireless modem, which has received incredible interest.” International participation has been wider than ever before, with the total number of countries participating reached an all-time high. __

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