Coronavirus: Tech events cancelled, postponed in the Gulf region

As the world reels to curb the spread of the coronavirus, major events across the globe from concerts to sporting events to conferences have been cancelled or postponed. Here are some of the major tech events and conferences that have been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic in the region:

Ai Everything


Initially set to be held from 10th to 11th March, Ai Everything is one of the largest dedicated AI events in the region, attracting unicorn Startups, Global 2000s, government and SMEs to showcase their advanced AI solutions to more than 10,000 international visitors over two days.

Dubai World Trade Centre, which organises the summit, said the decision was made “in light of the global development around the COVID-19 virus,” and that it was closely monitoring the situation.

DWTC has yet to announce the new dates for the event.

coronavirus Tech events


Gartner IT Symposium/Xpo


 Gartner has cancelled its annual IT Symposium/Xpo, which was scheduled to take place in Dubai, UAE from 2-4 March, 2020.

In a statement in the event’s website, Gartner noted that the move was aimed at ensuring the health and safety of its customers and employees. “Therefore, out of an abundance of caution, we believe this is the right decision given the evolving public health risks.”

Gartner also noted that it has contacted all registered attendees, exhibitors, and partners with details for their individual situations.

Gartner Symposium 2019 - Miriam Burt, managing research vice president at Gartner

Gulf Information Security Exhibition and Conference (GISEC)

POSTPONED: New dates – 1-3 September

 In a statement on the event’s website, DWTC noted that a majority of its key stakeholders and participating delegations coming from across the world are unable to travel. Therefore, it postponed the event to assure that its clients’ needs are most effectively addressed, and to ensure the delivery of strong international participation.

GISEC is one of the most-anticipated cybersecurity shows in the region. Its agenda is directed by a powerful Advisory Board of senior end-users from Dubai Electronic Security Centre, Dubai Police, Telecommunications Regulatory Authority, Smart Dubai, Investment Corporation of Dubai, Adnoc Refining, aeCERT and Spire Solutions. Tackling global cyber-security issues, it attracts a captive audience of decision makers from over 200 government departments and leading enterprises in the Middle East.

AWS Summit Dubai


AWS Summit seeks to bring the cloud computing community together to connect, collaborate, and learn about AWS. The event looks into aspects such as choosing the right database, moderinising data warehouses, and driving digital transformation using AI. The Dubai leg was set to take place on 24th March, but following precautions against the spread of coronavirus the event has been cancelled. In a statement released by Amazon, it said, “Due to the continued concerns about the COVID-19 virus, Amazon Web Services has cancelled the AWS Summit Dubai, scheduled for March 24. We have reached this decision after much consideration, as the health and safety of our customers, partners and employees are our top priority.”

Mike Clayville, AWS's vice president for worldwide sales and business development

Intersec Saudi Arabia

POSTPONED: New dates – 1-3 September

Intersec Saudi Arabia is one of the kingdom’s leading trade show for security, safety and fire protection. The event, which was initially set to be held from 23rd to 25th March, has been postponed according to organisers ACE Group and Messe Frankfurt. “The postponement comes following concerns from Intersec Saudi Arabia exhibitors, speakers, and visitors around recent developments of COVID-19 in Saudi, including visa issuing and travel restrictions that would limit the ability of many stakeholders to attend the show,” the organisers said.


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