Gitex Shopper
Visitors looking for deals on electronic items on the opening day at Gitex Shopper yesterday. Exhibitors expect to see strong sales volumes on the latest gadgets, especially smartphones. Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News

Dubai: After launching in the UAE just a few days ago to crowds of eager Apple fans, the iPhone 11 smartphone is expected to be one of the top sellers at this year’s Gitex Shopper.

Retailers at the consumer electronics show, which kicked off on Tuesday at the Dubai World Trade Centre, said they expect to see strong sales volumes on the latest gadgets, including the latest iPhone, the Samsung Galaxy 10, and the latest laptops and high-end televisions.

Pankaj Kumar, head of omni-channel retail at Jumbo Electronics, said he is expecting an increase in sales values at Gitex this year compared to last year as average selling prices of many gadgets go up. He said that pre-bookings on Apple’s iPhones this year have gone up by 30-40 per cent year-on-year.

“The iPhones, the Samsung, and the Huawei are the three main brands [shoppers are buying] in smartphones. With the iPhone 11 launch, that has given good traction. The iPhone 11 has done well as far as pre-bookings are concerned compared to last year. The Note 10 and Note 10+ are also doing well,” Kumar told Gulf News.

Apple announced its latest range of iPhones at an event in California on September 10, and launched the phones in the UAE less than two weeks afterwards. The range includes the iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max, with retail prices starting from Dh2,949.

While Gitex Shopper is known for its bundle deals and heavy discounts on older gadget models, retailers say there are still many visitors who come to check out the latest technologies.

S. Mushtaq Ahmad, business head for the UAE, Oman, and Qatar at Emax, said that as the company is offering iPhone 11s without any pre-bookings, many customers are visiting Gitex to test out and buy the smartphone instead of booking it in advance. The improved camera on the iPhone 11 was another factor attracting shoppers as more and more consumers look for phones that can snap those Instagram-worthy, professional-style pictures of avocado on toast.

He pointed that changing the Gitex set-up to be held once a year instead of twice was also bringing in more visitors to the event.

Besides smartphones, Ahmad said that gaming devices were garnering a lot of attention, especially for gaming PCs.

“Gaming PCs used to be quite expensive and heavy, but they’re becoming smarter and thinner, and brands are investing into them and making them faster, so PC gaming really is becoming very big,” he said.

Jumbo Electronics’ Kumar added that smart connectivity through smart speakers and security gadgets were another focus at this year’s Gitex Shopper. Asked about the broader retail environment as spending slows down, Kumar said, “Consumer confidence is better this year than in the last two years, so this should have an impact here [in Gitex].”

Gitex Shopper was opened on Tuesday by Majid Saif Al Ghurair, chairman of the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Entry discount for students

Gitex Shopper kicked off on Tuesday and runs till Saturday at Shaikh Saeed Halls at the Dubai World Trade Centre. It brings together retailers and tech brands to showcase a range of consumer electronics including house appliances, smartphones, laptops and other gadgets. The show runs from 11am till 11pm, and tickets are priced at Dh20 per person per entry. They are available online and at the door, and student groups of 50 or more can get tickets at Dh10 per student. Children under the age of five enter for free.