This article was originally published on TechRadar

The 39th Gitex Technology Week, the largest ICT exhibition in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia, will open doors to the future with 5G, artificial intelligence, robotics and future mobility.

More than 4,800 companies from more than 100 countries are expected to descend into Dubai for the five-day event taking place from October 6-10, 2019, at Dubai World Trade Centre, all encompassed under the movement of ‘Synergising the Mind and Technology Economy’.

Visitors can get hands-on with AI, 5G, smart homes and other emerging technologies such as AR and VR.

“5G is the major focus this year with a showcase of digital transformation and innovation expected across industry verticals like transportation, retail, healthcare, manufacturing, aviation and oil and gas,” Dr Ahmed Bin Ali, Group Senior Vice-President for communications at Etisalat, said.

At the event, Etisalat, du, Nokia, Samsung, Huawei and Ericsson will showcase 5G-powered solutions.

Leading AI expert and Gitex keynote speaker Dr Ben Goertzel, Chairman and Chief Scientist of Singularity Studio, and CEO and Founder of SingularityNET Foundation, will reveal how AI will merge with blockchain to create deep value for businesses and society, increase human life expectancy and support medical research.

Dr Goertzel is well-known in the technology world as the former chief scientist of Hanson Robotics, creator of social humanoid robot Sophia.

Strong momentum in 5G commercial adoption

Hani Sobih ELKukhun, Vice-President for Strategy at Huawei Middle East, said that 5G is gaining strong momentum in its commercial adoption.

Globally, Huawei has signed fifty 5G commercial contracts and shipping over 200,000 5G base stations worldwide. In the Middle East, ELKukhun said that they have signed eleven 5G commercial contracts in the Middle East.

“We have seen industries starting to embrace 5G, with it exploding into prominence by improving efficiency in many industries. By adding AI capabilities to the next generation of ICT products, AI also becomes more readily available for different fields of scientific research and business innovation. This combination will deliver more intelligence across every touchpoint of the digital economy,” he said.

Ericsson, having announced 24 global 5G contracts with major operators, including four in the Middle East, said that efforts to roll out 5G in the fastest, smoothest, and most efficient way are gradually paying off.

“I believe Gitex is a great forum to inspire consumers and enterprises with the unlimited opportunities that 5G will bring us,” Wojciech Bajda, Vice-President for Middle East and Africa, and Head of Gulf Council Countries at Ericsson, said.

New exhibitors

More than 100,000 tech experts from more than 140 countries are projected to take part.

New exhibitors taking part this year are Ericsson, Nokia, China Mobile, Tata Communications, Siemens, Mitsubishi Electronics, Honeywell, General Motors, Automation Anywhere, Samsung, Abu Dhabi Global Markets, Hub 71, Mohammed bin Rashid Innovation Fund, In5, NYAD, HADO, KISED, Chalhoub Group, Bird, AutoX and Energizer.

Apart from enterprises, more than 180 government entities, out of which 145 are from the UAE, are taking part.

Franco Atassi, Head of Smart Infrastructure at Siemens Middle East, said that they will showcase ways that intelligent infrastructure will be the foundation of the world’s future smart cities.

“We aim to demonstrate how the Internet of Things can have a positive impact on both the economy and society. Additionally, we’ll focus on how the industrial sector can benefit from embracing the digital transformation, using IoT technology to drive economic development through the intelligently digitalised industry,” he said.

Siemens will also show how they are working with Expo 2020 Dubai to create a blueprint for future smart cities, using its cloud-based platform for the Internet of Things – MindSphere.

Trixie LohMirmand, Senior Vice-President for events management at Dubai World Trade Centre, organisers of the event, said that Gitex continues to be the definitive platform where enterprises, startups and government entities come together, striving to engage the global technology community to harness the limitless ingenuity of humans and the power of technology to ensure meaningful benefits and impacts on society through intelligent discourse.

“Technologies, no matter how revolutionary they may be, offer no value to us unless they can create experiences to augment the well-being of individuals and the larger society,” she said.

Samsung is expected to showcase the smart home of the future and its advancements in 5G connectivity. Visitors will get the chance to get a first look at Samsung’s newest mobile devices including the Galaxy Note 10 5G and Galaxy Fold.

Gitex Future Stars

On the sidelines of the event, Gitex Future Stars will feature over 750 local and international startups and corporate accelerators from more than 80 countries, and more than 1,500 investors and corporate buyers, as well as an all-new presence from countries including Austria, Brazil and Italy.

The Government of Abu Dhabi is making its mark at the event, with the Emirate’s hottest innovation prospects, including Hub71, Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), StartAD, Krypto Labs, Department of Health Abu Dhabi, all aiming to put Abu Dhabi on the map as an innovation hub of the future.

LohMirmand said that General Motors and Rolls Royce will showcase the latest advances in IoT and 5G will reinvent the transport paradigm.

This article was written by Naushad K. Cherrayil