Organisers prepare for surge of visitors from GCC and Emirates at region’s largest consumer technology and electronics show for Eid.
DUBAI // Organisers of Gitex Shopping 2013 are preparing for a surge of visitors from the UAE and wider region for the Eid Al Adha break.
Shoppers from Oman, Qatar and groups of schoolchildren from across the Emirates began streaming in on Wednesday, aiming to snap up bargains before the nine-day vacation starts next week.
“I have bought tablets and smartphones at very good prices, so I realised all I heard from friends is correct,” said Suleiman Anwar from Saudi Arabia, on his first visit to Gitex.
“It is a dream for shopping because prices are low and you can spend a lot of time looking around.”
Some long-time visitors called for more competitive prices and said further competition between retailers would draw greater numbers from overseas next year.
“This time I have found that there is not much price difference in some devices, like cameras,” said Fahad Al Sadi, an engineer from Oman at his third Gitex.
“There is not that much difference in offers, so there should be more competition and more diversity. I bought some hard disks but the camera I’m looking for is not available.
“If there is a big price difference more people will come.”
The event also proved a hit with schoolgirls and college students from different emirates.
“I like electronics so I enjoy finding all the technology in one place,” said Safa Darwesh, a student of Sharjah University who visited with classmates.
“I will bring my parents here because they will enjoy all the deals.”
A group of 25 Emirati schoolgirls from the Salma bint Quais Secondary School in Dibba trooped out with armloads of purchases.
Nadia Ali, the school’s information technology teacher, said the visit was part of the school’s attempt to encourage the girls’ interests in technology.
“I have bought so many things like car games for my brother, iPad covers for myself and my sister,” said Nasra Ahmed, 13.
Fatima Abdullah, also 13, said she enjoyed buying devices herself.
“I bought a watch telephone for my father as a surprise and a small speaker for my mother so she can hear the Quran when she is on a break from teaching in school,” said Fatima, a Grade 9 pupil.
“I liked seeing all these computers and so many televisions and tablets and checking the best prices.”
Many students said they would return with their families.
The organisers also expect a build-up of visitors before the show ends on Saturday week.
“We will see an influx of people not just from the UAE, but there will be a surge in the GCC crowd,” said Hemesh Chandavarkar, director of exhibitions and events management at Dubai World Trade Centre.
“Since the Eid holidays have been announced we expect more visitors from Saudi and Oman coming in. Other trade shows have also brought in international visitors so it is a cross-sell.”
The other exhibitions in Dubai this week included Cityscape on the property market, Light Middle East for the lighting industry and the HR Summit and Expo.
More than 200,000 people are expected at Gitex in the eight-day event, displaying more than 30,000 gadgets.
Some visitors were new to Dubai, such as Matthias Rex, who wheeled out a 42-inch television.
“I don’t have an apartment yet but I have a TV,” said Mr Rex, a German construction contractor who moved to the UAE two weeks ago.
“I just heard about this on the radio and when I saw the offers I thought I must buy it. It is great to get big discounts on electronic goods.”
The event runs daily from 11am until 11pm.