Khaled rambles technology, tea/coffee, consumer rights and other interest from Saudi Arabia

April 22, 2008

Gitex Riyadh 2008 Review

Filed under: Events — Tags: , , , , , , — Khaled A. @ 11:00 am

The show has become a telecommunication show, with STC and Mobily (the 2 telecoms in Saudi Arabia) taking almost half the exhibition space, which is unfortunate, there’s usually a mobile and telecommunications show and there is no reason to merge it into Gitex. The other “part” of Gitex was simply computer resellers offering their products.

A few years ago, before Gitex was held in Riyadh, the same building used now was holding a “computer show” which is simply a reseller exhibition where they offer promotions and discounts, no innovation at all.

Asking non-“computer geeks” about the show and what do they think about it, they are under the impression that this is a “telecommunications first and computer sales” show. I guess thats enough for the REC organizers who are paying the license to Gitex. Asking others who attended “real” computer exhibitions like “CeBit” and “Gitex Dubai” the original Gitex and they would say that the complete building of REC expo is only as small as one of the many halls in CeBit or Gitex Dubai.

One of the only innovative thing was AMD showing their new triple core CPUs. Unfortunately, the stand where the AMD distributor (Almasa) was not finished in the first day of Gitex (and honestly I have no reason to return) and Almasa’s site is not mentioning Gitex in their news section. Another is Zai, a local PC OEM, announcing a deal with nVidia to offer gaming PCs this is new for the market because almost no high end video cards appear in the local market, only 2 stores ( PATH and Softland/Binaries ) offer them at extremely high prices ( almost %40 added to the original price ). And that’s the only news I found about Gitex from Google News.

Other companies to note: Samsung, Panasonic (with their new AVCHD cameras), a full section Taiwanese companies looking for local dealers. Also in the exhibition: CITC, MCIT, Sadad Payment System( a Saudi IT project, they even had a new iMac on display, best part of Gitex Riyadh 😉 ), Garmin dealers ( I question the need for that in this show), Riyadh School (again, why?), HTC, i-mate, ITE (Logitech distributor in UAE) I thought we already had a Logitech distributor in Saudi Arabia, Mishaal Sudairy, they got a very old and outdated page though, who redirects his .com.sa domain to some other subdomain? that’s just unprofessional.

Missing from the show: Microsoft (for the second or third year now), Apple, Sony, Intel, Hitachi (they had an amazing stand last year).

The Gitex Shopper had nothing to offer, just “cheap” laptops and a total mess.

The REC Expo building is the same old building with very bad parking arrangements. The entrance to the expo was a total mess, people pushing, no organization at all.

My rating of the show? 2/5. Considering it was a bit bitter, I mean better, than last years’ show which I give it a 1/5. So again: don’t bother, just go to Gitex in Dubai in a few months, it will be worth your time. Anything is better than this.

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