A view of exhibitors and visitors on the first day of Gitex Global 2022 in Dubai on Monday.
Inayat-ur-Rahman, Business Editor / Sajjad Ahmad, Deputy Business Editor
Gitex Global 2022 kicked off on Monday at the Dubai World Trade Centre, with the participation of 5,000 exhibitors spanning 26 halls and two million sq. ft of exhibition space, with a notable increase of 25 per cent year-on-year.
The Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA) is harnessing the power of emerging technologies to enrich user experience with the launch of its innovative AI- and Metaverse-based projects at Gitex Global 2022, an inclusive tech show that brings together enterprises, governments, startups, investors, coders, academia and youth.
Announcing the launch at a press conference at the Sharjah Government pavilion at Gitex Global 2022, Khalid Jasim Al Midfa, Chairman of SCDTA, unveiled the ‘SharjahVerse’ and ‘Shj AI Guide — Robot’ projects.
The new generation of exceptional tourism experiences will enable tourists, residents and visitors to explore the splendour of Sharjah in the virtual universe.
With ‘SharjahVerse’ a project developed in partnership with Multiverse Labs™ – a pioneering global firm that are transforming industries in the digital realm, the project highlights the numerous landmark attractions, adventure and family-based activities in the emirate, SCTDA has created a highly realistic metaverse ecosystem using a combination of real-world 3D videography and advanced generative A.I.
The project positions Sharjah’s tourism industry firmly in the immersive virtual realm where global audiences can experience the emirate’s unique tourism offerings. The project also empowers tour guides, local businesses, and industry stakeholders to leverage the unique opportunities on the Metaverse to scale and grow their businesses and boost the global and regional tourism sector.
Harnessing the power of AI and robotics to fulfil tourist expectations for interactive responses to queries, SCDTA has launched the ‘Shj AI Guide – Robot’, a virtual tour guide service embedded with AI technology in a robot form to provide a range of information on the emirate including tourism destinations, services and offerings.
The smart robot tour guides, to be employed in various local and international events as part of the second phase of the project, was launched at Gitex 2022.
In the third phase, scheduled to start in 2023, a special platform will be launched to educate tourists about the smart tour guide and reveal ways to benefit from its presence in more than 80 locations in the emirate.
2024 will see the launch of the fourth phase, where the various services of the Authority will be integrated within the smart tour guide, including the services of Sharjah hotel establishments and safari vehicles.
Announcing the launch of these projects, Khalid Jasim Al Midfa, Chairman of SCDTA, said: “Advanced technologies provide great opportunities to boost and enhance the tourism sector. With the accelerated pace of technical advancement, AI technologies are impacting every aspect of the tourism sector right from welcoming and serving guests, responding to inquiries and analysing their preferences to updating the tourism sector’s progress with accurate data to serve customers better.”
The SCTDA Chairman continued: “The adoption of modern technologies maximises returns, enriches user experiences, and bolsters Sharjah’s status on the global cultural and tourism maps in the region.”
DLD: Dubai Land Department (DLD) is participating in the global event, Gitex Technology Week 2022, one of the most prominent technology-related events in the world. Gitex is taking place until 14 October at the Dubai World Trade Centre, and DLD’s participation seeks to highlight its pioneering efforts in the real estate sector.
Sultan Butti bin Mejren, Director General of Dubai Land Department, said: “We are continuously keen to develop smart and digital services in the emirate’s real estate sector to save our customers’ time and effort and allow visitors and investors globally to benefit from DLD’s pioneering services from anywhere in the world.”
Bin Mejren added: “We are committed to working in accordance with the vision and strategy of the wise leadership to consolidate Dubai’s position and its real estate sector among the best global investment destinations, which is in line with the Principles of the 50, which stipulates building the best economy in the world and employing modern technology and artificial intelligence as a basis for the emirate’s comprehensive development towards the next fifty.”
Huawei: Huawei welcomed high-level customer visits on Day 1 of Gitex Global 2022, where they explored the company’s wide range of innovations on 5G, paving the way to 5.5G, cloud-native 2.0 architectures, AI, digital power, cybersecurity, and industry applications, designed to meet the needs of various verticals including government, utilities, oil and gas, transportation and finance. These solutions and technological advances create new economic value by addressing national digital transformation goals and enabling a green and intelligent society toward the net-zero target.
Steven Yi, Huawei Middle East and Africa President, said, “We welcome visitors to our stand to experience our world-leading end-to-end solutions that address diverse ICT needs of our public and private sector customers. As competition heats up, we recognize customers’ challenges as they pursue their business transformation goals. Our technologies and expertise in various domains ease the digital transformation journeys of our customers, allowing them to unleash innovation and business growth.”
Italian startups: 33 Italian Startups are participating at North Star Dubai, one of the Gitex 3.0 events dedicated to the innovative entrepreneur ecosystem, that kicked off today at the Dubai World Trade Centre. With over 14,600 startups registered as of July 2022, the Italian innovative startups sector has shown great dynamism in recent year.
Selected by the Italian Trade Agency, the 33 Italian Startups are hosted in the Italy Pavilion located in Za’abeel Hall 6. Innovative solutions that use blockchain, AI and augmented reality for sustainable mobility, healthcare, education, new payment systems and waste reduction are presented by the Italian participants.
Amedeo Scarpa, Italian Trade Commissioner to the UAE said: “The number of Italian startups keeps growing and official numbers confirm the positive trend already underway in 2021. 14,600 startups have been registered in Italy as of July 2022, 3.7% of all national newly established joint stock companies. This represents 15% of the total number of Italian companies (105,000) active into high-tech sectors.
Software production, IT consulting, research and development, manufacturing of machinery and electronic products are the most popular activities and startups founded by under 35s account for 17.4% of the total.”
e&,: e&, formerly known as Etisalat Group, is set to enthral stand goers at Gitex Global 2022 by inviting them to enter the next digital universe with the soft launch of their virtual world, e& universe. This move marks a significant achievement in the Group’s transformation journey to a global technology and investment conglomerate, as it takes its first steps into the metaverse.
Hatem Dowidar, Group CEO, e& shares his views on why telcos must adopt the metaverse in enhancing customer experience and boosting digitalisation journeys of enterprises.
Metaverse technology may be in the early incubation stages, given that it needs high-bandwidth and low-latency communications to work at scale. Still, telcos must consider harnessing its potential for the betterment of lives, whether it is a virtual playground or shopping destination, or even using it as a training ground for smarter, more efficient AI and industrial manufacturing processes. To get it to work at the grand scale we all envision will require robust connectivity solutions. This is where 5G becomes the fulcrum, given that mobile networks may not be able to handle the metaverse network demands.
According to a report by Ericsson, 5G is a critical enabler for the metaverse and its entire ecosystem as it has global reach, including roaming capabilities. For the cloud and edge-cloud (MEC) capabilities of the metaverse, 5G also offers low latency, offload processing and enhanced render level of detail (LOD).To harness the power of the metaverse, telcos must expand beyond their traditional capabilities and more towards embracing a growth mindset where they are open to exploring innovative ideas. In fact, telcos can play a more prominent role in the metaverse value chain by leveraging emerging technologies such as 5G, edge cloud, analytics and Artificial Intelligence (AI).
PCFC: Under the slogan “Driving the Economy through Innovation”, the Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation (PCFC) is launching 16 new projects and innovative digital initiatives at the 42nd edition of Gitex Global 2022. The world’s largest tech show which runs from 10th and 14th October at the Dubai World Trade Centre.
These projects include the PCFC Digital Hybrid-Multi-Cloud, which, as the name suggests, will help establish a hybrid digital cloud infrastructure that provides a plethora of integrated solutions towards full and sustainable digital transformation.
Sultan bin Sulayem, DP World Group Chairman & CEO and Chairman of Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation said PCFC’s proactive and innovative projects support the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, which sees Dubai as the world’s capital and the best city in ease of life and modern technology.
“These technological breakthroughs will help attract more investors into the emirate, who can enjoy higher revenues and pay fewer costs. PCFC has been able to contain the successive global challenges through its coherent governance and digital solutions that support the flexibility and agility of supply chains and shipping operations.” Ahmed Mahboob Musabih, Director-General of Dubai Customs, CEO of Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corporation said that Dubai Customs is launching a number of its latest digital programmes and artificial intelligence technologies to help automate services and further facilitate customs procedures.
“This year’s edition of Gitex will see the launch of a number of Dubai Customs creative projects including the Online AEO Compendium which facilitates sharing secure data by the World Customs Organization and its member customs administrations, and the Self-Audit Initiative.”