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RealTime IT News

Dubai Plans High-Tech Gathering for April

A high-level technology panel comprising senior officials from the Middle Eastern emirate Dubai's government and private sector will visit Gitex Cairo, being held from April 2 to 5, 1999, to make a general evaluation of technologies displayed by major international IT companies.

The panel will comb the exhibition for latest software, hardware, security systems, system integration and networking technology to implement the proposed e-commerce project that will transform the emirate into a hub for information technology and electronic commerce.

Visualizing Dubai as a future global venue for the development of electronic commerce, H.H. General Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Defence Minister of the UAE, had earlier directed formulation of the panel, which will undertake a thorough study and devise a focused strategy for the e-commerce project. The panel, directed to formulate a proposal within six months, will study setting up of a virtual market on the Internet for shoppers and also examine the possibility of providing interactive information on government departments and their activities, tourist-related information as well as secured banking and other financial services on the Internet.

"The panel is confident that Gitex Cairo, which is the sister exhibition to Gitex Dubai, the third largest IT exhibition in the world, is an ideal forum to scan for latest technologies and innovations in the field of information technology," said Mohammed Al Gergawi, deputy director-general, Department of Economic Development, Dubai.

"The electronic commerce highway that Dubai plans to build will link the emirate with the world as well as promote trade and investment in the country and to link Dubai with the world through the World Wide Web."

"The panel will undertake an extensive research on products and services, which support this project, at display in Gitex Cairo. Egypt has substantial manpower working in the IT sector and it is one of the most important markets in the region for developing and Arabising Internet programs," he said.

The project will enable Dubai to provide a whole range of services including government, tourism, banking and shopping on the Internet.

The panel, which will be led by Salem Al Shaaer, manager, finance and administration, Department of Economic Development in Dubai, will include representatives from banks, trading groups, credit card companies, IT companies and others.

"We need to tap their expertise to ensure the success of the project. The strength of this project lies in the fact that it is promoted by Government of Dubai,' said Al Shaser. "In addition, the strategic location of Dubai, its reputation in the international market and the events that are already held in Dubai will further improve the projects prospects."

Gitex Cairo is the international debut of Gitex, the Middle Easts premier IT show. The event has received unequivocal support from the major IT associations in Egypt including the Egyptian Software Association, the Egyptian Society for Computer Companies, Egyptian High Tech Association and the Internet Society of Egypt.

Gitex Cairo has attracted a large number of leading international, regional and local companies, who aim at developing their share in the Egyptian market--the fastest growing market in the Arab world.

Gitex Cairo will feature the latest in hardware computer products, system hardware, software solutions, desktop publishing, office automation, multimedia, multilingual applications, networking and business communications, on-line information services, mobile computing, power systems, office systems, mainframe and storage technology.