36th Edition of the GITEX Technology Week Gets Underway in Dubai

This year, the annual tech exhibition includes a new focus on nurturing startups



This week, the world is once again flocking to the Emirates city of Dubai for the GITEX (Gulf Information Technology Exhibition) Technology Week.

The week-long exhibition, currently in its 36th year of existence, was officially opened early today by Dubai’s Crown Prince Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammad Al Maktoum and is set to run through to Thursday, the last working day of the week in the United Arab Emirates.


This year, the exhibition’s organizers and hosts, the Dubai World Trade Centre, expect hundreds of thousands of visitors to the Middle East, Africa and South Asia premier technology trade show where all of the industry’s big names like Huawei, Oracle, SAP, Cisco, Microsoft and others and as well as small businesses from around the world are showcasing their wares at the 1.4 millon square feet Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre. Over 4,000 exhibitors are taking part in this year’s GITEX Technology Week.

For the first time ever, this year’s edition of GITEX will also see the event provide a platform for tens of young and upcoming entrepreneurs to showcase their startups and, hopefully, secure funding for their innovative ideas and solutions in the GITEX Startups Movement and the GITEX Strut Up Pitch Competition.


It is at the latter pitching competition where I met one of the startups that presented today, Sawwagy. Sawwagy according to one of its co-founders, Omar Iman, addresses a need mainly unique to most Middle East families who have one or several family drivers that are assigned duties to transport family members from one point to another in the course of a day. However, it is Iman’s home country, Saudi Arabia where Sawwagy’s real genius comes to life. In the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, women are not allowed to drive vehicles and as such family drivers are the norm. Sawwagy makes it easy to map out requests and exact locations to drives and provide an overseeing family member the ability to monitor the pickup and delivery/drop off.

We’re at GITEX for the entire week and we’ll be bringing you all the interesting stuff from the exhibition floor and from the many verticals and tech talks where analysts, opinion shapers and industry leaders are taking the stage to share exclusive insights on telecommunications, mixed reality, smart cities and more.

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Emmanuel writes on mobile hardware, software and platforms.