Abu Dhabi: Even though toy shop owners admit to a price hike of at least 10 per cent this year, there is a general shortage of toys such as Nintendo Wii video games console and dolls such as Barbie Bratz or Barney, which are in high demand across the UAE.

"You cannot compare prices of products such as Nintendo Wii, play station or X-Box to last year's prices because there are more accessories, improvement in technology and different versions introduced each month," said Sevee Peralta, Department Manager, Virgin Megastores.

He said i-pods remain a popular item for young and old.

A South African couple told Gulf News their children mostly enjoy receiving DVDs of their favourite characters such as Barbie, Bratz or Barney. "These are great gifts because our children watch them over and over again."

Jonah Pabile, a Filipina who was shopping for her five-year-old daughter for Christmas, said: "Toys for children are very expensive but I have a specific budget."