Visitors at the Samsung stands are hunting for deals on smartphones, laptops, tablets, HD TVs, wearables and smart watches, digital cameras and gaming consoles at the Gitex Shopper Autumn 2016. Image Credit: Atiq ur Rehman/Gulf News

Dubai: Key retailers in the UAE are geared up for the five-day tech-shopping fiesta which kicks off from October 2.

The 28th edition of the Gitex Shopper 2018, which opens doors at the Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC), provides an additional platform for retailers such as Jumbo, Jacky’s, E-max and Sharaf DG to put their best foot forward in a bid to showcase the latest in consumer electronics with bundle offers and promotions.

Since DWTC has merged the spring and autumn shopper into one, retailers are in buoyant mood.

“We believe that customers will be back to enjoy the offers that are available only during this time of the year as Gitex Shopper has now become a once-a-year event,” said Nilesh Khalko, CEO of Sharaf DG.

He said that laptops and mobile phones will lead the way in terms of business volumes.

 We believe that customers will be back to enjoy the offers that are available only during this time of the year as Gitex Shopper has now become a once-a-year event.”

 - Nilesh Khalko | CEO of Sharaf DG

“We are also expecting good sales of TVs with special prices from leading brands and new products like Samsung Note 9, Apple iPhone XS and Max, and special bundles will help achieve the growth. The VAT (value added tax) has become a reality and well accepted by customers since the beginning of the year. Brands have also done price corrections to make the prices more affordable to customers,” he said.

Moreover, he said that DWTC has improved its parking arena with more spaces and with Xperience Zone, a dedicated arena for tech fans to see the unboxing of latest products with interactive sessions, will also attract interest.

Sharaf DG is expecting a year-on-year growth of between three and five per cent.

DWTC has a dedicated area for people to learn how to fly a drone before they buy at the ‘Go Top Gun with Drones’.

The dedicated ‘Shopper Games Zone’ will feature mini-tournaments daily, where leading gamers will wage battle in games such as Fortnite, CS:GO, FIFA19 and Overwatch. Competitors can register for the tournaments on-site on battle days.

Ashish Panjabi, COO at Jacky’s Business Solutions, said that with the gifting season upon us, the event is expected to be a crowd-puller and to make it more exciting; the event has been reduced to five days.

When asked whether VAT will be an issue for the shoppers, he said that VAT came and went and people have forgotten about it.

“Whenever we have activities and promotions like Gitex, we will see a tremendous rise in sales,” he said.

Mahesh Chotrani, assistant vice-president at Jacky’s Electronics, the event should be good.

“I am very optimistic as sales have been low in the last few months. This is the only way to take it forward. When the market doesn’t do well, people wait for these kinds of offers. How much will it do well needs to be seen,” he said.

Some spike is required in the industry and these are one of the events where the spike would come in, he said and added that Gitex always pulls in a good crowd.

“We are investing big time with a “theme promotion” this year. I am spending Dh150,000 for raffle draws and send 10 people to South Africa for a fully paid holiday package when a shopper shops for Dh499,” he said.

Atul Joshi, head of distribution at Jumbo Electronics, said that Gitex is one of the key events that happen in Dubai and now with one condensed Gitex, Jumbo expects the event to be a success and better than last year.

Since there was no Gitex in April, he said that many consumers would have been waiting for this event to start to make their purchases.

“Smartphones are one category that is expected to do well at Gitex due to the new launches, laptops will remain popular and also large size TVs. Demand is also expected in gaming products,” he said.