-Competition heating up for Middle East’s largest ever gadget awards-
-Student Lab competition narrowed down to high-flying shortlist of ten-
-GITEX Technology Week launches Cloud Awards-
-Host of innovative new platforms and networking facilities introduced-
GITEX Technology Week is bolstering its programme with a series of innovative new features and competitions as a part of its GITEX Edge segment. Set to be one of the most prominent elements of this new direction is the Middle East’s largest ever gadget awards, which are already capturing the imagination of technology fans across the region.
From smartphones and tablets to TVs, audio equipment and beyond, the GITEX Hot Stuff Awards, powered by Stuff magazine, celebrate the most desirable, exciting and innovative consumer electronic products currently or soon to be available in the region. The deadline for submissions is 11.59pm on Saturday 14 September. The awards are open to all GITEX Technology Week exhibitors, as well as any technology brands in the region keen to make a mark.
A panel composed of leading technology experts will sift through the entries to shortlist the top ten best gadgets. Each of these will feature on GITEX Technology Week’s website (gitex.com), the October edition of Stuff magazine, and the Stuff website (stuffmideast.com). The gadgets will also get prime positioning in display cases from October 20 to 24 at the GITEX Hot Stuff Awards 2013 stand, located in the Consumer Hall of the exhibition. From October 1 to 22, members of the public and GITEX Technology Week attendees can vote on their favourite gadget from the top ten. The winner will be decided in equal measure by the expert judges and the general public.
“GITEX Technology Week is one of the world’s leading ICT events, which makes it the perfect host to make this competition a smash hit,” said Thomas Shambler, Editor, Stuff Middle East. “Our panel will pick real winners – the GITEX Hot Stuff Awards 2013 will only feature products that all gadget fans will love,” Shambler said.
The mounting excitement surrounding the awards is understandable given the region’s immense enthusiasm for consumer electronics. According to Business Monitor International’s UAE Retail Report Q2 2013, consumer electronics sales are estimated to soar 63% from USD4.06 billion to USD6.62 billion by 2017.
New GITEX Edge segment
The Hot Stuff Awards is just one element of GITEX Edge’s bid to imbue GITEX Technology Week with an all new interactive and constructively competitive dimension.
The Student Lab competition, which is sponsored by the Ministry of Presidential Affairs (MoPA) and held in association with Google, aims to recognise and promote the brightest and most innovative ICT students from across the Middle East, Africa and South Asian region. Ten finalists have already been chosen to present their ideas to the world’s top ICT companies at GITEX Technology Week by a judging panel including Ahmed Al Hassani, Head of Networks and Systems Unit, Ministry of Presidential Affairs; Abdel Wahed Bendaoua, Head of Emerging Markets – EMEA, Google and Majid Farouck Hanna, General Manager, the UAE Society of Engineers. The jury and participating companies will vote for the top three projects that will receive cash prizes to help move ideas toward reality.
Among the entries catching the judges’ eye is Omar Saleh from King Abdulaziz University in Saudi Arabia who is proposing a Kinect technology-based solution for deaf people.
Other regional high-flyers set for GITEX Technology Week fame include Fatma Alyousuf from the UAE’s American University of Sharjah for her ATM-inspired Automatic Medicine Machine; Amna Al Dhaheri from the UAE University for her multi-platform Emirati cuisine game app; and Mu’ath Lahlabat from Palestine’s An-Najah National University for an Android-based home automation system.
“GITEX Technology Week’s Student Lab competition is a great opportunity raise awareness of exciting new tech innovations, as well as network and learn from the leading names in the ICT industry,” said Emirati national Amna Al Al Dhaheri.
“I am delighted to make the top ten with the Cooking Time app, which is the first Arabic cooking game specifically aimed at Emirati society. The aim is to teach youngsters how to cook UAE traditional food, increase the number of Arabic games on the market and combine education with entertainment in a way that promotes and celebrates UAE culture. Everyone knows Sushi, why can’t they also know Balaleet!”
GITEX Edge’s Cloud Confex will also present the first-ever Cloud Awards on 21 October. Awards will be presented in the categories of Best Data Centre Infrastructure Project, Best Cloud Security Implementation, Best Virtualisation Solution Implementation, Best Big Data Solution Project, and Best Government Implementation of Cloud Solution. The judging committee includes Todd Thibodeaux, President and Chief Executive Officer COMPTIA; Daniele Catteddu, Managing Director EMEA, Cloud Security Alliance; Sam Johnston, Director of Cloud, Equinix EMEA; and Kuldeep Bhatnagar, IT Advisor, Environment Agency, Government of Abu Dhabi. The judges will make their decision based on an entry’s innovation, integration, functionality, value, usability and scalability.
Todd Thibodeaux, President and CEO, CompTIA – the keynote speaker at Cloud Confex and one of the main judges for the Cloud Awards – said:
“More than ever before, businesses and organisations are de-coupling from physical infrastructures to embrace more fluid, flexible, dynamic and collaborative ways of working. Cloud computing is all about empowering people to achieve the previously unachievable, and there are clear signs that it is set to take off in a big way in the region. The Cloud Awards are a timely addition to GITEX Technology Week, and we look forward to identifying and celebrating the companies and individuals set to make a big difference in this space.”
Other notable GITEX Edge highlights include the gsmExchange (gsmexchange.com), which is a specialised trading platform for mobile phone distributors, wholesalers and retailers. The gsmExchange tradeZone offers verified gsmExchange members the chance to benefit from an area exclusively dedicated to boosting their business. With a presence at three major events in 2013, the gsmExchange TradeZone is estimated to attract over 10,000 professionals from the mobile phone distribution industry.
The GITEX Smart Sessions are another GITEX Edge feature likely to make waves. Taking place in a dedicated theatre, the sessions provide a powerful showcase for anyone with innovative solutions and insight. The theatre will host panel debates, discussions and interactive presentations. Smart Session topics include cyber security, excellence in e-government, mobile app ecosystem evolution, e-commerce, mobile commerce, mobile payments and micro payments, start-ups- driving innovation and growth.
Throughout GITEX Technology Week, GITEX Edge will run an innovative Content Hub to help exhibitors tap into event trends and amplify their key messages. Sponsored by Lincoln, which is also the provider of the event’s Official Technology Car, the Content Hub will provide an exciting world of live newsfeeds, social media alerts, interviews, breaking news and industry updates under one platform. It will also feature country-specific bloggers and serve as one-stop-shop for multi-platform media collaboration, as well as a powerful aggregator of real-time GITEX Technology Week news and views.
Ford Motor Company is once again the Official Automotive Partner for GITEX, this year showcasing a new face of its luxury brand, Lincoln. With Lincoln MKZ as the Official Car of the Show, the company continues its leadership drive in automotive technology, offering GITEX visitors the chance to win the all-new model as part of the show’s Passport Trail. Paul Anderson, Ford Middle East’s Marketing Director, said: “We are happy to be the official GITEX automotive partner for the sixth consecutive year. GITEX has always been the ideal Middle Eastern platform for Ford Motor Company to showcase its leadership in automotive technologies, whether in infotainment, safety or driver assist innovations. And this year, we continue to bring our latest innovations to the show thru our luxury brand Lincoln as we debut the all-new Lincoln MKZ. We are excited about the MKZ and eager to share its fantastic and benchmark setting technologies with GITEX visitors.”Additional media innovation comes in the shape of the new GITEX TV, which will serve as the principal broadcast medium at the show for both the organisers and exhibitors alike. Broadcast across a network of 53 LCD screens – including two anchor screens serving the main entrance and outdoor plaza area – GITEX TV will feature breaking show news, live twitter feeds, edited highlights of the sights and sounds of each day of the show and exciting innovations from the exhibition floor.
As ever, GITEX Technology week has bolstered its ability to make the industry connections that matter, with attendees set to benefit from an enhanced version of ConneXions, an event-specific virtual community inspired by the interface of social media applications. Users can browse profiles of visitors and exhibitors online, set appointments, manage personal diaries and create matches with the best potential clients, all before arriving at the show. On-site, ConneXions kiosks and staff will assist visitors to find the right products, services and exhibitors for their business needs.
Other creative networking features include the Midis Group-sponsored C-level Majlis Programme. This highly coveted networking programme brings together the industry key influencers – CEOs, CTOs and CIOs, and business counterparts to share experiences, identify best practices and review the latest industry offerings.
Another potential ROI-boosting feature is the GITEX Tours, which offer dedicated visits to selected exhibitors across the event’s 12 Industry Sectors. Each tour will cater to groups of up to 20 trade visitors.
“GITEX Edge is all about shaking things up, breaking away from the norm and really inspiring people, whether it is competition entrants, GITEX Technology Week attendees, and the ICT industry at large,” said Trixee Loh, Senior Vice President at Dubai World Trade Centre, which organises GITEX Technology Week.
“More than ever before, we’ve structure the show to facilitate the ROI-driving connections that matter, spark the conversations that have genuine substance, and provide enduring support for the talent of the future.”
Running under the theme “Lets Create, Disrupt and Re-imagine Together”, the 33rd edition of GITEX Technology Week 2013 runs from October 20-24 at DWTC.
For inquiries about the GITEX Hot Stuff and to submit gadgets you feel should be included in the, please email [email protected]