Local and international education suppliers doing business in the Middle East remain optimistic about their growth in the emirates and the rest of the Gulf region.
Close to 600 education suppliers and brands from all over the world are expected to showcase their latest products at the forthcoming Global Educational Supplies and Solutions (GESS) exhibition and conference in Dubai, the largest show of its kind in the Middle East.
“The region continues to be an attractive market for education-focused brands as schools in both the public and private sectors continue to invest in products and solutions that help teachers and students achieve better performance. The desire to deliver a world-class standard of education remains very strong among school leaders and teachers and that quality upgrades can happen much faster with the latest teaching aides and tools,” said Matt Thompson, Project Director, Tarsus F&E, organisers of GESS Dubai scheduled to take place on 26-26 February 2019 at the Sheikh Saeed Halls of the Dubai World Trade Centre.
For 12 years now, GESS Dubai has provided a strategic platform for anyone wishing to do business in the education market in the Middle East to come to the show and meet school decision-makers. This year the show features exhibitors and country pavilions from Bahrain, China, Denmark, Finland, Germany, India, Italy, Jordan, Korea, Turkey, Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, United Kingdom, United States showcasing a wide range of products and solutions from edtech (such as VR/AR, STEAM, robotics, lab equipment, mobile apps) to uniforms and furniture that are aimed at re-shaping classroom design and experiences for better learning.
“More and more companies are using GESS Dubai as a platform to launch their products in the lucrative education market as visitors came from 92 countries worldwide. GESS Dubai is the only way to reach out to such a targeted audience of global education buyers,” added Thompson.
InnoTech, an Omani start-up, is keen on reaching a much broader audience for InnoBox, an educational kit to help children learn the basics of electronics, through GESS.
Eng. Othman Al Mandhari, Founder and CEO, says the SME initially began with 100 kits, but since the entry of a venture capital investor, have scaled up the operations with a view to expanding throughout the Gulf region this year. “2019 is the year we start getting into other countries starting with the GCC countries. We believe that the edutech market is going to increase in the coming years and we are getting ready to give Middle East schools and students a product that will help them explore electronics in a safe, fun and practical way.”
Al Mandhari also believes that because schools will continue to increase their investment in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) to be more competitive, it will provide an impetus for growth for education suppliers.
Meanwhile, a UK-based firm is hoping to triple their business in the region with expansions set for Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Qatar, Kuwait and Oman.
“The Middle East, in particular the UAE, is our second largest market after the UK. The advanced nature of the schools in the region means that it’s an enormous growth market for our company – the leading artificial intelligence (AI) business in the UK,” said Charles Wood, Partnerships Manager, CENTURY Tech, an artificially intelligent learning platform that teaches children English, Maths and Science from ages 6-16. It analyses what they know and how they are interacting with the platform and then adapts to the student, suggesting what they should learn next. It provides powerful data to teachers so that they can perform timely interventions and provides self-marking activities to save time and reduce workload.
Wood says they will be showcasing a new parent app at the show for the first time which will allow parents and guardians track their children’s’ progress in real time from their mobile device.
Among the top brands that are participating in GESS Dubai 2019 include Alef, Almotahida, BenQ, Bosch Rexroth, Boxlight, Brother, Canon, Epson, Haba, Immersive VR Education, Intel, Learn IT – Google Education Partner, Obeikan, pi-top, Promethean, Samsung and Virco.
Organised in partnership with the UAE’s Ministry of Education, under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Deputy Ruler of the UAE, GESS Dubai will also offer more than 200 workshops, presentations and sessions providing unparalleled insights on the latest in education, curriculum development, technology advances, teaching innovation, leadership enhancement and others.
“Our conference allows visitors, mostly teaching professionals, to take home practical teaching methods to use in the classroom immediately and part of what makes GESS unique is that we regularly meet and speak to members of the teaching community to ensure we are providing the content that they want to see. Our conference sessions and workshops are CPD-certified, which teachers can use to boost their career advancement,” added Thompson.