With conference season now well underway, the eyes of technology enthusiasts are constantly switching across the globe.
But this attention could soon be focused firmly on the Middle East, which now claims to be the home of the world’s largest tech event.
GITEX Global 2022, held at Dubai’s World Trade Centre and attended by TechRadar Pro, might not yet be as famous as CES in Las Vegas or Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, but the organizers have big plans to change that.
Following a difficult few years during the pandemic, GITEX Global welcomed its biggest ever attendance, with a reported audience of over 120,000 attendees hearing from more than 5,000 companies from 90 countries, including over 1,000 speakers.
Spanning the entire two million square foot size of the Dubai WTC, the conference was an exhausting experience for many, with the crowded halls making it hard to reach talks and panel sessions in time, especially when heading to venues that required an outside trek in the boiling desert heat.
In a country that aims to prove that bigger is always better, perhaps having such a sprawling conference with no concrete theme or agenda across such a giant space was perhaps not the wisest choice – and hopefully an oversight the organizers will address in coming years.
But with a line-up that included global technology heavyweights such as Microsoft, Dell Technologies, Huawei and many more, and featuring multiple UAE and Dubai government spokespeople, the conference did have some hidden gems on offer.
The headline attraction was the world’s first “flying car”, shown off by Chinese company XPENG, whose X2 vehicle carried out a successful (if slightly underwhelming) test flight on the outskirts of the conference.
Looking forward, the organizers clearly have big plans for the future, announcing the inaugural GITEX Africa in May 2023 in an attempt to capture some of the large-scale investment and development across the continent.
And with specially-designed zones for developers, the metaverse and start-ups, it may be that GITEX and its satellite events do soon become the proving grounds for some of the next great technology firms.
Although it may still take some time to capture the headlines like CES and MWC do, with the might and determination (not to mention the financial support) of Dubai and the UAE behind it, we wouldn’t bet against GITEX Global growing even further in years to come.
- TechRadar Pro’s travel and accommodation in Dubai were funded by the Dubai World Trade Center, but the organization had no editorial control over the content of this article.