Day Two of the CEA’s historic first visit to the Middle East kicked off yesterday (May 14th) with a packed schedule of seminars delivered by key speakers from the global consumer electronics industry. A prominent theme of the addresses given by the Board of Industry Leaders - who represent the world’s largest consumer and electronics organisation - was wireless technology and home automation, following reports that the number of households across the world using data networking solutions is set to grow from approximately 80 million at the end of 2005 to nearly 145 million by 2011; according to market researchers Parks Associates.
Delivering the keynote address at the Hometech Conference, Mr. Gary Shapiro, President and CEO of the Consumer Electronics Association of America said, “This emirate offers a new frontier for the consumer electronics industry. It bridges businesses in the Western hemisphere with growing markets in one of the world’s most rapidly developing regions. It enables our industry to reach new consumer bases. And it provides technology and information to more people around the world.”
He noted that the Consumer Electronics Association represents more than 2,100 corporate members involved in all facets of the consumer electronics industry, including the design, manufacturing and distribution of consumer technology products and services. CEA ranks as one of the top 15 U.S. trade associations based on revenue. Combined, CEA's members account for more than $150 billion in annual U.S. sales. And of course, CEA is the producer of the International CES, the world’s largest consumer technology tradeshow.
“The CEA have a wealth of expertise and knowledge about the international consumer electronics industry, said Ms. Suman Manning-Lizotte, Show Manager for Messe Frankfurt, the organisers of Hometech. “It is a pleasure to welcome such speakers to Dubai and over the past two days they have had the ideal opportunity to address an extremely receptive regional audience,” she continued. “The CEA is the largest consumer electronics organisation in the world, representing over 2,000 members and they have a wealth of knowledge and expertise in this huge market,” she added.
The CEA summit was one of the highlights at the third and final day of the Hometech Middle East 2007; the region’s largest consumer technology trade fair, which is currently underway at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre. It is the first time that the CEA has addressed the region’s journalists and market professionals about key issues facing the industry.
After the Chairman’s opening remarks at the conference, Charble Fakhoury, the regional General Manager of Microsoft, spoke of the challenges and business opportunities arising from the growing numbers of end-users involved with media creation and sharing. Following on from this session, the subject of piracy within the games’ industry was up for discussion in a seminar led by Mike Wombell, CEO of Red Enterrtainment Distribution, where he spoke about the problem of bootleg merchandising and described it as the “scourge” of the industry. “Piracy is a global phenomenon that has huge implications for the worldwide entertainments industries,” said Ms. Manning-Lizotte. “If just 10% of pirated games sold regionally were converted into legitimate items, then manufacturers may be able to produce fully localised products,” she added.
The subject of digital homes was next on the agenda, with Nigel McKenzie, CTO of Pacific Controls giving his expert verdict on trends within the automated home. Pacific Controls are one of the leaders in digital household technology and have been responsible for fitting out numerous new developments across Dubai with fully automated home control systems; including the state-of-the-art Waterfront residential tower at Dubai Marina. “Automated home technology is one of the fastest growing sectors of the consumer electronics industry and Mr. McKenzie has shown that Dubai is leading the way in this market; with many of the new developments in the UAE’s construction boom being configured with ready-to-use in-built wireless communications systems,” said Ms. Manning-Lizotte.
Concluding the morning’s seminars were further addresses on wireless technology and discussions about the accelerating growth for the digital community through the 21st century. “We are very grateful to all the speakers who have shared their knowledge and expertise on the consumer electronics industry over the two days that formed the CEA’s first visit to the region,” said Ms. Manning-Lizotte. “They have helped make Hometech a resounding success and put Dubai firmly at the centre of the Middle East’s consumer electronics industry,” she added.
Hometech concludes today and organisers Messe Frankfurt have said that it has been their most successful exhibition to date. “This year we had around 300 exhibitors from 23 countries at this year’s Hometech,” said Ms. Manning-Lizotte. “Our initial footfall figures show that well over 5,000 visitors have attended the event, making it our most successful show ever,” she concluded.
Issued on behalf of Messe Frankfurt by BIZ COM.