x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Gadgets to tempt UAE big spenders

Bigger television screens and premium gadgets will take centre-stage at the first Abu Dhabi Electronics Shopper taking place 14 March in the capital.

Big names such as Sharp will be present at the Abu Dhabi Electronics Shopper event. David Becker/Getty Images/AFP
Big names such as Sharp will be present at the Abu Dhabi Electronics Shopper event. David Becker/Getty Images/AFP

Bigger television screens and premium gadgets will take centre stage at the first Abu Dhabi Electronics Shoppershow tomorrow in the capital.

The event, at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Centre, will focus on the higher-end customer, according to organisers and exhibitors.

"There are more villas and a larger local community in Abu Dhabi when compared to Dubai. It is a different customer, with more money to spend and different needs," said Neelesh Bhatnagar, the chief executive of Emax Electronics. "This event highlights Abu Dhabi as the high-end market for electronics."

To date, Dubai has been the focus for technology vendors and retailers, but the organiser Dome Exhibitionshopes Abu Dhabi Electronics Shopper will become the platform for technology companies seeking a slice of the capital's lucrative retail market.

"Most shows make a loss during their first year. That is not so unusual and we would expect to do something similar," said Antoine Georges, the managing director of Dome Exhibitions.

"We are investing in Abu Dhabi Electronics Shopper for the long term. We are already receiving bookings for next year's event."

Big names such as Hewlett-Packard, Sharp, Lenovo and Nokia will be present, with a total of 35 exhibitors signing up.

"For the customer it is much better to go to [the shopper] than to the mall. Here you will get a better bargain," said Mr Bhatnagar. "We will be doing raffles and other offers. It's basically all about value for the customer."

He added that Emax would be opening at least three new stores in the capital over the remainder of the year as the retailer attempts to boost its Abu Dhabi operations.

"We want to scale up our operations in Abu Dhabi and take them to the next level," said Mr Bhatnagar.

"I think for this exhibition our operating cost is a bit high because we are a Dubai-based company so we need to take our office staff from Dubai to Abu Dhabi and put them up in hotels and things like that. But in future years, once our retail operations become big in Abu Dhabi then we will be able to support an event like this from our Abu Dhabi staff."

Other vendors are also pinning their hopes on Abu Dhabi's growth in the technology retail sector.

"The Abu Dhabi consumer is very technology savvy," said Manu Mahdi, the general manager at Sharp Middle East. "This region really commands a great potential.

"As a brand we believe it is very scalable. The size of the exhibition can go from what it is to being 10 times bigger in the future,"

 

thamid@thenational.ae

lbarnard@thenational.ae