This year’s spring shopper edition of the Gulf Information Technology Exhibition (GITEX) opens with a slew of the latest gadgets, including smart phones and laptops, in an electronic wonderland the size of a football field.
And once again, the event’s big brand name retailers will be rolling out a spread of bundle offers, flash sales and discounts of up to 50 percent to an estimated crowd of over 136,000 for the duration of the four-day event happening from March 29 to April 1 at Dubai World Trade Center (DWTC).
Filipinos, the tech-savvy gadget lovers that they are, have traditionally comprised a sizeable bulk of Gitex Shoppers’ footfall, organizers said.
There were 136,400 Gitex visitors last year, according to DWTC, of which approximately 35 percent or some 47,700 were Filipinos. Organizers said they were expecting a bigger number of visitors at the spring edition.
“Predominantly, majority of the participants are Southeast Asians, first Indians followed by Filipinos then expat Arabs, Western expats and then the Emiratis,” Avinash Shanbhogue, Gitex portfolio director of DWTC’s events management department, had told The Filipino Times in previous interviews.
Shanbhogue added, “There is only one thing that comes to my mind when I look to the Filipino community and that is they are tech-savvy. They know how to take care of themselves in terms of what products they will use, they are very conscious, all their products (bought) are mainly electronics, they choose the right products.”
Nilesh Khalkho, Sharaf DG CEO, couldn’t agree more, saying: “The exact figures are confidential, but we have a healthy number of Filipino customers who visit our stores – they are one of the largest customer segments for us.”
“We always see a good number of Filipino customers during Gitex. All our Gitex offers are also available in-stores which are also useful for customers since they can visit their nearest store. In the last one year we have opened new stores in Burjuman Centre in Dubai and Marina Mall in Abu Dhabi which offers more locations for customers to easily visit us,” he added.
Khalkho said Filipino customers love the latest gadgets and usually prefer high end mobile phones like the iPhone 7 or Samsung S7 Edge. They also go for action cameras like GoPro and the premium accessories like headphones, Bluetooth speakers and camera accessories.
He said Filipinos and other Gitex customers can be on the lookout for some “good deals on convertible laptops which are in-trend now, large screen mobile phones and smart TVs.”
“This is also a good time to buy accessories like headphones, Bluetooth speakers and routers where there would be some good offers. New gaming consoles like Nintendo Switch along with the highly popular PS4 Pro and X Box One S would be fast moving as well,” Khalkho said.
He said Sharaf DG will have various offers and promos across products. “We have an interesting feature on our website and app where we compare the offers across top retailers in UAE – which makes it easy for customers to find the best deals,” he said.
Faizal Ali, managing partner Riz Global, an electronics shop, for his part said they have regular Filipino customers at Gitex. “We always have around 60 percent Filipino customers at Gitex,” he said.
Major consumer retailer Jacky’s Electronics will be selling a range of smartphones including the Apple iPhone 7, Huawei Mate 9, HTC U Ultra, Lenovo Moto Z, and the Samsung S7 Edge at the four day show and will be offering customers exclusive bundles worth up to 30 percent of the phone’s value when purchased at their stand.
Mahesh Chotrani, AVP, Jacky’s Electronics said: “Smartphones are constantly developing with screens getting bigger, storage capacity increasing, wireless audio bluetooth headsets being introduced, devices getting smarter, chips and processors becoming faster than ever and the overall user experience improving.
With a number of smartphones grabbing the limelight over the last two years, it is the Chinese brand Huawei which has taken the market by storm, launching an extensive range of Android phones at affordable prices, such as the Huawei Mate 9 and Huawei P9.
Chotrani added: “In our opinion, Huawei’s Mate 9 is the best in the Huawei line-up, boasting an impressively large battery alongside powerful internals, an improved dual-camera setup and a sleek, gorgeous design. The benchmark results were some of the best we’ve seen, bringing excellent value for money. EMUI 5.0 makes a huge difference to the overall experience too. We are looking forward to seeing its success with our customers at GITEX Shopper Spring along with all of our other electronic items we will be offering.”
Filipinos set aside a budget of between Dh2,000 and Dh5,000 when going to Gitex, previous TFT surveys had shown.
To be given away are 40 Dell Inspiron 11 3168 laptops with the GITEX Shopper Scratch & Win raffle, plus a grand prize 2017 Toyota Fortuner EXR SUV with the Visit & Win raffle over the four day event.
Furthermore, every day Dh25,000 will be given away to shoppers who spend Dh1,500 and above, organizers said.
Expected major launches
A number of major smartphones will be showcased at GITEX Shopper Spring 2017, including the highly anticipated Samsung A (2017) Series, Huawei Mate 9 Porsche, Huawei Mate 9 Pro and HTC U Ultra.
Virtual Reality enthusiasts are encouraged to live the game with the latest offerings from HTC, Sony PlayStation and Samsung. Plus, for customers venturing into the world of personal drones, Parrot’s acrobatic Mambo minidrone, complete with cannon and grabber attachments will also be available at this year’s event.