GITEX 2014: Can Dubai be the next Silicon Valley?


Dubai: Brainpower, manpower and willpower…

A couple of editions ago at GITEX in Dubai, Microsoft made the city its launchpad for revealing its Windows 8 platform. Other high profile launches have followed, while the regional headquarters of social media heavyweights like Facebook, Google and LinkedIn are also in this part of the world. All this puts Dubai on a springboard to become the Middle East’s answer to Silicon Valley, attracting the best brainpower, manpower and willpower.

Hype, launches and controversies ahead of GITEX Shopper

As consumers gear up for the most anticipated hi-tech extravaganza – GITEX Shopper in Dubai – the tech worldis still buzzing with the launch of the game-changing Apple Watch, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus and the social scandal #BendGate, in which fans posted videos of their new iPhones bending. Typically unapologetic, Apple is in firefighting mode – but has added more gasoline to the Twitter flames by accusing fans of visiting Apple Stores in a premeditated plot to bend their phones.

‘Clash of the Titans’ at GITEX in Dubai

Tech enthusiasts have waited all year for the GITEX event in Dubai to get their hands on the ‘smartest’ smartphones,other digital eye candy and spectacular competition prizes at GITEX Shopper, while industry heavyweights are also locking horns during GITEX Technology Week. Popular B2B and B2C exhibitors include Dubai Smart Government, which offers over 2,000 smart innovations from dozens of government entities like ESMA, all under one umbrella.

Brand fanatics vs brand ‘haters’

If you ever needed proof of how loyal some fans can be to their brand, look no further than the many New Yorkers who paid homeless people to stand in queues weeks before the iPhone even launched. But on the other end of the spectrum, the brand’s rivals have been giving publicity to anyone who wants to complain about their iPhones bending or other flaws via social media.

Technology comes fullcircle

Remember the very first mobile phones, which could barely fit into a handbag, let alone your pocket? The one where you needed both hands to lift it? Then for years, manufacturers competed to make their gadgets smaller and sleeker. But now some of the hottest new gadgets are bigger, longer and wider than their ancestors, proving that what goes around comes around. So remember that no matter how fashionable your gadget is, someone someday will laugh at how old-fashioned it was.

The moral of the story is that no matter how innovative your brand is, you can never afford to stop innovating; because once you stopgoing forward, you’re going backwards.