* GITEX Shopper Spring 2017 runs from March 29 to April 1
* Show with more than 35,000 products on show to attract thousands
* Dubai’s electronics market is forecast to exceed $3 billion by 2020
* Mobile phone penetration in UAE projected to reach 82.1 per cent in 2017
The region’s biggest consumer electronics show opened its doors to the public in Dubai on Wednesday.
GITEX Shopper’s spring edition for 2017 comes at a time when consumer electronics markets in the Middle East as well as worldwide are facing challenges.
Sale of the whole range of gadgets made a poor show in the first three quarters of 2016 before making a little progress towards the end of the year. Not much has changed even in the first half of this year, according to inputs from markets.
However, Dubai’s electronics market is forecast to exceed $3 billion by 2020 on the back of portable consumer electronics that is expected to continue its lead with sales forecast of $1.27bn over the next four years, according to the figures from Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Interestingly, both retailers and manufactures have suddenly turned optimistic as GITEX opened at Dubai World Trade Centre.
The four-day event is expected to put more than 35,000 products on show and is expected to draw in thousands of shoppers and technology enthusiasts.
Notably, retailers have announced offers and discounts on devices and gadgets to attract shoppers.
GITEX, the trend-setter
Retailers believe that the event sets the tone for the electronics sector and allows companies to plan for the rest of the year, based on technology announcements and consumer behaviour trends.
Nadeem Khanzadah, Head of OmniChannel Retail at Jumbo Group, says that the brand has made major preparations earlier in the year to cater to a major surge in demand from a tech-savvy public who is eagerly awaiting the most innovative technology.
Smartphones to lead
The region’s mobile phone market experienced a sharp slowdown in 2016, with total shipments down nearly 25 per cent on the year before, according to a recent report from market research firm International Data Corporation (IDC).
On the other hand, GCC smartphone market shrank 23 per cent year on year (Y-o-Y) in unit terms, with the leading vendors Samsung and Apple experiencing declines of 32 per cent and 21 per cent, respectively.
Nonetheless, Middle East and Africa are among the fastest growing mobile markets in the world and according to Global Media Intelligence Report by eMarketer, mobile phone penetration in the UAE is projected to reach 82.1 per cent in 2017.
Industry experts believe that Smartphone will steal the show at GITEX.
“Over the past few years, smartphones with key features such as better cameras, long lasting battery life, vivid screen resolutions and software functions have been leading the market, and this trend has visibily continued into 2017,” says Khanzadah.
“This year, the product categories that Jumbo will be focusing on are much-awaited smartphones, laptops, premium ultra large sized UHD/4K televisions, and fitness and wearable devices. Virtual Reality (VR) devices are also an extremely promising category that is gaining significant momentum and traction over the past year,” adds Nadeem.