Thousands of people attended the opening day of Gitex Shopper in Dubai on Tuesday in search of a high-tech bargain.
Retailers expected that smartphones would be the hottest items on show and, while that proved to be the case, there was certainly competition from other products.
Shoppers looked for deals on laptops, games consoles, sandwich makers, microphones and hair straighteners.
The event is renowned for special bundle deals on technology not available elsewhere.
With dance music echoing across the hall and neon signs blinking, retailers left nothing to chance when it came to capturing the attention of shoppers.
Egyptian Mohammed Gharib, 35, area manager for Axiom Telecom UAE, said shoppers were mainly interested in the Samsung Galaxy Note 9, which was on sale for Dh3,699, because his company was offering a free 106-centimetre Samsung television with each purchase.
That paled into comparison with a deal offered by Sharaf DG. Arpit Wabhawani, 32, manager, said that if anyone bought one of their Samsung 165cm LED televisions, worth Dh4,999, they could get a 2018 BMW 318i thrown in for “just Dh89,999”.
Shoppers had mixed feelings about the opening day’s offerings.
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“I come here for the extra offers you get included in the bundles,” said Tushar Patel, 34, from India. “I have been coming here for the past five years because you simply do not get the same offers in stores.”
Mr Patel pointed to the laptop he had just bought, which came with an extra hard drive and back bag.
Mohammed Obiad, 33, from Ras Al Khaimah, walked away from his shopping day after buying more than planned.
“I came here to buy a laptop because I heard there were good offers and now I think I will get a television as well,” Mr Obiad said. “It is a lovely place with very helpful people who you can ask about anything.”
Nitz Adrianu, 59, from the Philippines, was not overly impressed with the event’s first day.
“It is not as good as it used to be,” Ms Adrianu said. “I have been coming here for three years and they used to always give away free televisions with everything you bought. The offers are not as good this year.”
Shebin Hussain, 30 from India was playing the waiting game.
“You have to come here on the second or third day to see the good offers really kicking in,” Mr Hussain said.
But his determination to wait it out did not stop him buying an Apple watch and high-pressure water compressor on the opening day.
“As the event goes on you will see that it will start to rain special offers,” Mr Hussain said.