Gitex Fair Dubai Portugal

Portuguese companies search for new opportunities at Dubai’s biggest tech fair

Four Portuguese high-tech companies are present at Dubai’s biggest technology fair, Gitex, in search of new opportunities in the region, and some point out that this event is better than Web Summit.


Gitex Global, which started in Dubai on the 17th and ends on Thursday, is considered the biggest technology fair in the region.


Lusa visited the fair and spoke with four companies – Adyta, Future Compta, My Lads and Omniflow – that participated in an organisation carried out by ANJE – National Association of Young Entrepreneurs.


Speaking to Lusa, the CEO of Adyta, Carlos Carvalho makes a positive balance of its participation in the fair. “Adyta is a company that works in the area of cybersecurity and secure communications, born from research and development projects at the University of Porto’s Faculty of Science,” he says.


“We have developed an application that allows encrypted voice and message communication and we are also entering the area of secure communications in IoT [Internet of Things] environment for ‘smart cities’,” says the manager, who is also a board member of ANJE.


With a presence at Gitex Dubai 2021, Adyta hopes to “hook other markets”, he points out. “Right now we are still a company that is very focused on the Portuguese market, but, given what we do, we have a clear notion that the market is global and therefore we want to go everywhere,” stresses Carlos Carvalho.”We have had several contacts from local entities as well as from countries not only in the Middle East, but curiously some Eastern European countries, which have sought us either as final customers, or as a possibility of partnership, to help us enter these markets”, he reports.


“I also found it curious that various government entities in Dubai itself have already scheduled meetings with us, interested in what we are doing in Portugal. It’s something that makes us satisfied and motivated to continue”.


Carvalho is confident that Adyta, created in 2015, will soon enter Dubai. “We are a company created without recourse to external investment, without venture capital because, as we deal with information, which is very often sensitive, we seek to have a different sovereignty from what is common in ‘startups’,” he says.


Questioned about whether the fact that Portugal is participating in Expo 2020 Dubai contributes to help Portuguese companies present at Gitex, he is adamant: “I have no doubt that it does. In fact, “the more companies get together and appear as a team in this type of events, it helps. Portugal has a good image. I think we have to manage to capitalise more on this”.


Tiago Andrade, vice-president for the digital products area of Future Compta is also present in this fair for the first time. “We think Dubai is the right place to be” and Gitex “is the largest technology fair in the Middle East, a region that includes Africa and also the Asian region”, he points out. Their presence at the fair “is going well,” having contacts with many distributors who want to distribute the products of the Portuguese company, which “are all oriented to the area of efficiency, whether energy, urban solid waste,” where they are leaders in Portugal, and in the part of forest and industrial fire detection.


Future Compta is looking for partnerships, distributors, but is always open to investment opportunities. “Per day we make about 50/60 contacts, which is interesting at a fair like this. It is better, in my opinion, than Web Summit”, he says. Future Compta positions itself as “a leading IoT company, we saw at this fair that we don’t have products competing with ours, which is great, we are in the right place to make a difference”, he concludes.


My Lads, a business consisting of an engagement tool that connects fans with football clubs and associations, was also present for the first time at the Dubai show.
“We started in the football market, but in reality technology can be applied to different markets. In the case of the football market what we try to do is to reduce this ‘gap’ that exists between teams and fans because they usually end up being more present on match days or special dates and we try to make an ‘engagement’ all year round,” explained Dulce Guarda, ‘Chief Growth Officer’ (CGO), responsible for the growth area of the company and co-founder.


“Our collectibles are always connected to the augmented reality that the fan can access on their mobile phone. Anywhere, wherever you are, you can take photos with the player, visit the stadium, all the private areas, get to know everything that exists inside the club of your choice or federation of your choice, and share that information with all your friends and family,” she explains.


The deal took off in 2020, first with Benfica, then pandemic came and they closed with Sporting and the Portuguese Football Federation (PF). Now they are already starting with Futebol Clube do Porto and Atlético de Madrid. “We are in negotiations with about 30 clubs and federations, some already signed, preparing for the World Cup in Qatar,” she says.


At the moment, My Lads sells the physical product in Portugal, but has signed contracts with South America, Spain and will also start in the United Kingdom. The My Lads product can also be applied to ‘branding’, so brands that want for example to sponsor one of the teams or some of the experiences.


“We have spoken with very interesting people in the telecoms area, even in other markets here in the region, who are interested in applying augmented reality technology to their businesses,” she says.


The company hopes to start the business in Dubai later this year. And what other markets? “In principle also Saudi Arabia, we have already had very interesting contacts here from Saudi Arabia and Qatar, in addition to the United Arab Emirates. For next year, we want to be in at least the first three ‘top’ clubs in each strategic country for us: namely European clubs and also to start already in the United States and then at the level of partnerships with ‘branding’. We also want to start closing these partnerships, for example with official sponsors of the teams, which end up monetising the project”.


Omniflow is the only company that had already been to Gitex.


“We have been here in the past, more as a ‘startup’, now we are in a more ‘business’ part, so this presence is very different” from what we had in the past, says Paulo Guedes, CGO of the Portuguese technology company. “Right now, we are here trying to leverage the contacts we already have in this region,” he adds.


“Omniflow has created a sustainable platform for cities to create their smart services,” in energy and with service integration, says Guedes. “Dubai is a bridge for this entire region, it is an area where it is obviously easy to expose ourselves to Saudi Arabia and the entire Gulf area, allowing us to create links with these regions and with important partners,” he adds.