DUBAI // There was no let-up in the number of gadget fans eager to snap up the latest devices at low prices on the final day of Gitex Shopper 2013.
They came from Fujairah, Abu Dhabi and Ajman to take home digital cameras, ultra-high definition televisions, tablets, laptops and smart phones as the eight-day shopping festival came to a close.
Shoppers piled trolleys with smart TVs, bought at Dh500 to Dh1,000 below the market price.
Instead of simply opting for sets with bigger screens, experts said tech-savvy consumers were upgrading to their first smart television to connect wirelessly to the internet.
“I wanted a big TV that I can use easily as a computer,” said Fatima Faraj, an Emirati from Ajman.
“We have 40-inch and 52-inch TVs at home but this is our first smart TV. Here I got a 42-inch Phillips smart TV and it came with a free tablet, home theatre and headsets.”
Pharmacy employee Krishna Bahadur Mijar bought a 32-inch 3-D LG television as a surprise gift for family in Nepal when he returns on holiday next week.
“We already have a normal television but now this one is like a big computer with entertainment,” Mr Mijar said. “My family will be very happy.”
Reducing the price of larger televisions helped to draw in more customers, said representatives of top companies displaying top-selling brands at the region’s biggest consumer IT and electronics show at the World Trade Centre.
“Three years ago customers were moving from small sized TVs to bigger televisions but now even the 32-inch has 3D functions so it has become normal to look for smart TV functions,” said David Lee, a senior LG sales manager.
“The market size for smart TVs has dramatically increased. Our forecasts for Gitex are higher than last year.”
Features available on smart televisions persuaded consumers to make the shift, said Nalesh Bhatia, the manager for retail business operations at Eros Electricals, a distributor of Samsung products.
“The previous Gitex was a platform where we explained details about the high definition television and this Gitex we are selling them,” he said.
“At the previous Gitex people bought a second television. Now they have upgraded because of the availability of so many applications of the computer directly on the TV. There is more ready acceptance of the smart high definition television with high-speed internet now available in most people’s homes.”
Shivadasan Charukandesh, an Indian manager at an automobile company, took home a 40-inch 3-D smart television.
“We already have a 29-inch at home but with the external camera on this new television, we can use it to Skype,” he said.
“It is also for my children who wanted to have the 3-D option. So the whole family can watch TV and use it as a bigger computer.”
Other shoppers were looking to purchase gifts for family now that they would take home next year.
“This was my big chance to buy cheaper because even though I’m going home next year, it will be more expensive in the market,” said Ruby Joasatan, a Filipina who works in Dubai.
“I bought tablets for my nephew and niece because the price is more than Dh100 cheaper; plus we got so many freebies like wireless keyboard, earphones, tablet case and memory card that you need to pay for outside.”
Others did their research before coming to Gitex and said it paid off.
“I got my Canon digital camera Dh400 cheaper and with a free tripod, carry case, memory cards and a tablet,” said Rejeesh Raj, an information technology officer from Fujairah.
“I checked the model in different websites and many malls and found the best price here. We will celebrate Eid with many picnics next week and I can use my new camera for memorable pictures.”
Organisers anticipated 200,000 visitors at Gitex this year since October 5 with 120 exhibitors selling gadgets in the communication, technology and entertainment sectors.