Hemesh Chandavarkar, Director — Consumer Cluster, Exhibitions and Events Management, Dubai World Trade Centre Image Credit: Supplied

It’s that time of the year again when Dubai sheds its posh avatar and eschews the Armanis and Pradas for the latest isomething or Samsung’s new Galaxy offering. Gitex Shopper is to gaming aficionados, tech geeks, gadget gurus and nerds what a ten-pound Hershey’s bar is to a five-year-old.

The UAE consumer electronics market has enjoyed strong growth in sales recently. In 2008, the domestic consumer electronic devices market was valued at approximately
Dh10 billion. According to Dubai Chamber today the estimated value is Dh13.9 billion and it’s expected to increase to Dh15.7 billion by 2015.

“According to the latest Gfk Temax industry report, the value of the UAE consumer electronics market for the second quarter of 2013 totalled Dh3.8 billion compared to Dh3.5 billion in the same quarter last year. This amounts to a 7 per cent quarter-on-quarter increase,” points out Hemesh Chandavarkar, Director — Consumer Cluster, Exhibitions and Events Management, Dubai World Trade Centre.

Dubai is the main trading centre for the UAE electronics market, accounting for 80 per cent of the UAE’s total exports and 85 per cent of re-exports.

Not too much of a good thing

Despite some scepticism, the all new Gitex Shopper Spring 2013 was a success. It provided an excellent opportunity for global brands and retailers to launch the latest products, offer great deals and capitalise on the growing consumer demand in the region.

“With an estimated Dh93 million generated in four days, it delivered overwhelming results for exhibitors,” says Chandavarkar.

Both Shopper 2012 and Shopper Spring were sold-out, a clear indication of consumers’ appetites. After all, Gitex Shopper reflects the industry’s latest trends
and developments.

Feeling lucky?

With more than 25,000 consumer electronics products on offer, Gitex Shopper is all about the latest technology, the best prices and a great shopping experience. Expect unbeatable prices and offers for the latest models of your favourite gadgets and the best in business solutions along with live demos, experience zones, tech fashion shows and competitions.

Each day, prizes worth millions of dirhams are up for grabs as part of dozens of promotions, visit-and-win’ raffles, scratch-and-win competitions, gift vouchers and giveaways. Don’t tear up your entry ticket — it may also be your lucky coupon to the daily big prize: a sporty Opel Astra.

Key trends

The consumer electronics sector is one of the most dynamic segments with products that have increasingly shorter shelf lives. Hyped anticipation greets new launches that
soon become obsolete. Here are some of the key trends for the year by industry experts Ashish Panjabi, COO, Jacky’s Group of Companies and Chandavarkar.

Smartphones and tablets continue to be primary revenue drivers for the industry with growth projected to continue in the next year, followed by laptops and notebooks.

Phablets have become more mainstream while acceptance of larger screen sizes in smartphones with five-inch and six-inch devices is becoming the norm for most products.

There’s a clear emphasis on battery life by most smartphone manufacturers. Bigger screens use a lot more power, consequently compromising battery life. Now, bigger batteries along with software and hardware optimisation have increased battery life in newer devices. Multisim models in smartphones have grown in popularity as well.

Emergence of hybrid laptops that operate with Windows 8.1 and have detachable, folding or rotating touchscreens is another trend while storage devices delivered a half-yearly growth of 34.3 per cent in value terms.

AV products are gaining momentum through demand for new high-tech products such as 3D, LCD, LED and Ultra HD TV sets, which are delivering double-digit growths in this segment.