DUBAI: Thousands thronged on Monday to the Dubai World Trade Centre on day one of GITEX GLOBAL 2023, officially opened by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.
This was the 43rd edition of the event that has been running since 1981. This year, it is hosting nearly 6,000 exhibitors, including some 50 from Pakistan that made up the country’s ‘Tech destiNation’ pavilion, and 180,000 tech executives from 180 countries. The event is slated to conclude on Friday, and is being held across two venues – the DWTC and Dubai Harbour.
HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid noted that “the remarkable growth in participation at GITEX is a testament to the world’s growing confidence in Dubai as a pivotal hub for the technology industry for tomorrow and beyond.”
He said the event also conveys Dubai and the UAE’s steadfast commitment to driving progress and innovation and fostering international collaboration in the rapidly evolving technology landscape.
Dubai ‘offers everything investors need to thrive’
One of the highlights of day one was the inaugural SuperBridge Summit Dubai that took place at the Museum of the Future in partnership with GITEX, where the audience heard from H.E Helal Saeed Al Marri, Director General, Dubai’s Department of Economy and Tourism; H.E Abdulla Bin Touq Al Marri, UAE Minister of Economy, as well as Dr Umar Saif, Pakistan’s caretaker IT minister.
“Technology is giving the opportunity for many of the people in this room and many of us here to see IP (intellectual property) moving across the world and to see people benefiting from the productivity and the efficiency that it brings,” said Helal Saeed Al Marri.
“We had conversations this morning around where manufacturing sits globally and how that’s changing. We had conversations about how service businesses are increasing their geographic coverage, and I think all that is made possible through events like this,” he noted.
“Hopefully, you will all take away not only some knowledge of global expansion, but also make contacts that lead to great business opportunities,” he added.
Economy minister Abdulla Bin Touq Al Marri noted that the UAE has been known as a welcoming and dynamic hub for investment in technology where the government works to create an environment “that fosters innovation, entrepreneurship and economic diversification”.
“From world-class infrastructure and state-of-the-art technology to a highly skilled workforce, we offer everything investors need to thrive.”
Pakistan’s caretaker IT minister Dr Umar Saif was part of a panel discussion titled ‘The Importance of Public Private Partnerships in Boosting Economic Growth in the Fastest Growing Economies’.
He noted that Pakistan is situated in an “interesting neighbourhood” and “it really is now on to us to make sure that we capitalise on this opportunity for enabling trade, for making sure that we become a corridor for digital connectivity.”
He said Pakistan must also “equip our people and educate our people to really benefit from all the opportunities in our neighborhood.”
He added that although Pakistan is currently facing “challenges that have probably not existed (before) or at least my generation have not seen at this scale”, they will “get resolved as we begin to understand this highly interconnected world, a world that offers opportunities beyond geographic boundaries.”
“As we embrace that, and as we capitalise on that, I think some of these traditional conflicts and challenges will also begin to fade away.”
At GITEX, the Pakistan Software Export Board (PSEB) and Trade Development Authority Pakistan (TDAP) will be hosting this year’s Pakistan pavilion.
“Although smaller than last year, our pavilion will still be one of the biggest at GITEX Dubai,” Shahbaz Hameed, PSEB’s Director Business Development and Partnerships, told Business Recorder earlier.
“There are 26 diverse and innovative, PSEB registered companies, all set to showcase their products.”