Consumer technology spend set to reach $4.58 million in the UAE by the end of 2016 according to a study.
This news comes ahead of the Gitex Shopper, which will run from October 1-8 at the Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC), arguably the region’s largest consumer electronics show.
The eight-day sales extravaganza is expected to feature new product launches and offers across the full spectrum of technology, communication and entertainment sectors.
Running from 11am to 11pm this autumn, the Gitex Shopper will also see visitors stand a chance to win millions of dirhams in prizes, including a SUV car, holidays and cutting-edge tech products given away daily.
Demand for the latest consumer electronics, whether for work, home, entertainment or communication, continues to grow in the Middle East, according to the Business Monitor International (BMI) study.
The UAE is rated globally as a key market because of its role as a trading hub serving the GCC and other neighbouring markets, the study further states, with retailers and distributors serving a potential market of almost two billion people.
“Gitex Shopper has always been an exciting and much anticipated event – as much for consumers as it is for those participating on their stands. This is a show that contributes considerably to the market, bringing new products to the region, and offering retailers and top brands a shopfront with exceptional footfall,” said Trixie LohMirmand, Senior Vice President, Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC).
Expected product leaders at GITEX Shopper this year reflect the global trends in consumer electronics, with the handheld devices segment expected to maintain its dominant position, particularly as smartphones continue to increase in capability and features.
The audio/video segment is predicted to develop at a rapid pace thanks to the introduction of wireless technology in audio devices, while the demand for innovative connected television sets is expected to be a major driver of the consumer electronics market, both regionally and globally.
With the wearable tech market forecast to reach $56 billion by 2020, according to BMI, fashionable and functional devices such as the Apple watch, Samsung’s Gear Fit2, Fitbit Surge and Garmin’s Vivoactive are likely to be in high demand.
And with Virtual Reality quickly becoming an actual reality for all, heads-up displays such as Samsung Gear 360 and Gear VR are making VR hardware both accessible and affordable.
What’s on offer?
More than 35,000 products will be on offer at the show this year, with global players such as Dell, HP, Huawei, Samsung, Microsoft and more among the many brands showcased.
Top regional distributors and retailers, including Emax, Jacky’s, Jumbo, PlugIns and Sharaf DG, will be enjoying healthy competition.
Nadeem Khazadah, Head of OmniChannel Retail at Jumbo Group said: “Jumbo Group has been an active participant at Gitex Shopper since its inauguration 25 years ago.
“The show is an indispensable channel for us to engage with both existing and new customers, and is a key factor in our annual growth in sales and volumes. This year we are expecting a rise in wearables, fitness devices and VR headsets, backed, of course, by high volume sales of smartphones.
“Our special offers will include multimedia headphones, Bluetooth speakers and large screen televisions, and we’re telling Shoppers to also watch out for a surprise in the VR space.”
Meanwhile, Mahesh Chotrani, Assistant Vice President of Jackys Electronics said: “Gitex Shopper is not just an electronics exhibition; it’s a platform that allows us to demonstrate our strength in customer service and customer experience.
“We are coming up with some innovative concepts for our visitors this year, something truly special that has never before been done at the show – and that’s only part of what we’ll be offering in terms of best deals, offers and promotions.”
Purushotham, Head of Marketing (Smartphones and Tablets), IT and Mobile Division, said: “Our participation at Gitex Shopper has grown consistently over the past eight years, both in size and scale, as well as the diversity of our product offering. We will have a dedicated virtual reality zone complete with 4D chairs to transport visitors into whole new world of possibilities.”
This year, tickets for the Shopper will be priced at Dh30 for the weekdays and Dh35 for the weekend.
Entry is free for children below the age of five.