Dubai: Entrance fee for the popular Gitex Shopper consumer electronics exhibition in Dubai has been increased by Dh10, organisers said.
Visitors buying tickets in advance for the seven-day event will be charged Dh20, while entrance at the door will cost Dh25 - a 66 per cent increase on last year's Dh15 fee.
The Dh10 hike will result in a substantial increase in revenue, considering the numbers of visitors expected at the exhibition.
Last year, the event attracted more than 130,000 visitors and generated reported sales in excess of Dh84 million.
Pankaj Nadkarni, Gitex Shopper project manager, said the money will cover cost increases for services such as security, house keeping, free shuttle services and general utilities.
The Gitex Shopper runs at Airport Expo Dubai from September 6-12.
Organisers and participants are confident that a 66 per cent increase in the event's entrance fee will not trim visitor numbers.
Although a relatively minor increase for individual visitors, the increase could deter large families who have returned from holidays or are prioritising spending on back-to-school items.
However, electronic retailers say the long-running event will still be a big hit.
"It's going to pinch the customer, but prices in Dubai have gone up in general and I expect people to take it in their stride," said JP Nambiar, general manager for retail at Dubai-based Jumbo Electronics, one of the leading participants in the event.
"The fee hasn't increased in years and we accept that as costs go up, people have a right to increase their prices. We get a lot of visitors from GCC countries and I don't expect it to impact on them."
In a recent interview with Gulf News, Ashish Panjabi, chief operating officer at Dubai-based electronics retailer Jacky's, said the timing of the event is the main issue.
He said many people may try to limit their spending next month in light of high spending on recent summer holidays or on back-to-school items.
He recommended a date later in the year, but admitted that finding a period that does not clash with major festivals such as DSF is difficult.
Event organisers defended the hike, saying they had to cover the increased cost of event security and house keeping, a free shuttle service and general utilities.
"Over the years we've tried not to increase the fee, but there comes a time when you can't operate with the costs you're facing," said Pankaj Nadkarni, Gitex Shopper project manager.
"We're offering a promotional rate to visitors and encourage people to buy tickets beforehand rather than queue up on the day. People are going to pay Dh5 or Dh10 more, but I don't expect it to deter serious buyers."
Have your say
Will you go to this year's Gitex? Do you think the entry fee is too expensive or fair? Do you plan on buying anything from the exhibit? What items are you interested in buying?
Entrance fee of Dh25 is too high for this year's event. A 66 per cent increase is unreasonable even if you are saying that it is for security, shuttle and services, which you also had last year. The salary in the UAE did not increase 66 per cent. A lot of ordinary people will be discouraged from visiting Gitex this year.
Posted: August 27, 2007, 14:47
Does anyone really want to go through the traffic jams, finding a non-existent parking lot, to pay Dh25 and finally get squeezed like sardines? I didn't even try last year so definitely not this year.
Posted: August 27, 2007, 14:08
I agree with Aziz, the increase is not justified, and I prefer to go to shopping malls at any given day rather than get stuck in traffic. Besides, I don't understand how security and other services could cost more than Dh84 million in seven days!
Posted: August 27, 2007, 12:14
I personally would not visit Gitex this year. It would be a waste of time facing the traffic towards and then shelling out Dh25 as entrance fee which is ridiculously high. Dubai is getting highly expensive.
Posted: August 27, 2007, 11:56
I think this is a reflection of the increasing greed that is consuming all of Dubai. At some point people will realise that they are being ripped off and in the long run Dubai itself will suffer. I have not found Gitex to be any cheaper than shopping outside so would suggest buyers go to Computer Street and boycott Gitex shooper, saving themselves Dh25.
Posted: August 27, 2007, 11:48
Entry Fee for this year is too much high they should not increase the entry fee so more people can come and shop and they should give some raffle to the customer buy the ticket to attract more costumer. I'm planning to buy latest laptop and get External Hard drive.
Posted: August 27, 2007, 09:29
Price for anything and everything goes high in Dubai. Then, why not this.
Posted: August 27, 2007, 09:27
I cannot even think about facing the traffic to get to this place.
Posted: August 27, 2007, 09:24
I am visiting this year's Gitex. Entry fee is reasonable those who are buying high value items but discouraging for who loves to visit the exhibitions to upgrade their knowledge and buy little. I am planning to buy some software and any innovative items.
Posted: August 27, 2007, 08:56
The fee is too high for this event. First you have to go through all that traffic hesel and then pay AED 25 extra for the event. This year I wont be going to the event.
Posted: August 27, 2007, 08:45
Gitex Shopper has lost the charm. The price increase is justified because Dubai is becoming expensive. But the shopper never had good bargain deals I realised this after 2 to 3 visits to Singapore.
Posted: August 27, 2007, 00:56