GITEX Shoppers, the biggest electronic retail event in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, has kick started. The 8 day event, which involves great discounts and exciting prize money has always been a bonanza for shoppers, is going to be much bigger this time around with iPhones 6 being launched in the event. Given the past success of the GITEX, it won’t be difficult to predict that in its latest edition, GITEX which will showcase 35,000 products from over 100 brands, will once again catalyze huge sales and generate massive exposure for major electronic retail companies across the globe. However, the biggest attraction in the exhibition is going to be iPhone, which has so far received over 4 million preorders.

As a market Research agency, Research Konnection has diligently captured previous earlier GITEX shoppers held in April 2014 and October 2013,reports for which could be accessed by following the links. The given premarket analysis of the upcoming event is an extension of our previous research work conducted.

The iPhone 6 Fever

Till recently Samsung was believed to be one of the most popular brands in the GITEX events with Samsung S5 and HTC ONE M8 being the most sought after brands in the GITEX Spring edition. Nevertheless, in the given GITEX event, it would be an understatement to claim that iPhone 6 is not going to be the biggest attraction, unrivalled by other major electronic brands. iPhones 6 and iPhone + will be available for the show. iPhones 6, which is creating waves around the globe among geeks and armatures alike will be released in USA on Sept 19th and thereafter will be launched in UAE through the GITEX platform. Interestingly it is for the 1st time an apple product is being introduced in MENA region within a week of its USA launch. This once again demonstrates the underlying strength of the UAE/MENA electronic retail sector, with a mobile phone penetration of 193%/109 %.

Expected Trends in GITEX 2014

Lead by iPhone 6, smart phones will be one of the very sought after products in the GITEX shoppers as indicated above. Besides Digital cameras are also expected to register high growth. Interestingly sales of digital cameras are stimulated by smart phone purchase as many users learn amateur photography on smartphones and slowly graduate to better digital cameras. In digital camera section Nikon’s D5300 could be a major attraction involving GPS and Wi-Fi in the digital camera itself. In addition laptops and Ultra High Definition (UHD) TVs are also expected to get lot buyers.

GITEX Shopper which has been conducted since 1996 is expected to capture over 215,000 visitors in the upcoming. Given the fact that the event is coinciding with Eid, there will be more intensity into it as many Muslim and other households will shop items for the purpose of gifting. The event of EID will have day official off in UAE  and hence will feed a large amount  of visitors in the event, which will be conducted at the same time.

Dubai’s Rising Electronic Retail Business

The success of GITEX is strongly interlinked with UAE’s rapidly growing consumer electronic market that is presently estimated at AED 14. (USD .9) billion and is expected to reach near around AED 17. (USD 4.7) billion by 2017, with an average estimated growth rate of 5 to 5.5%. The electronic retail market in UAE can be primarily split into smartphones, tablets, laptops and TVs along with other devices include gaming, cameras, memory devices and households, etc.

Almost half of the market consists of computers, laptops and notebooks. However it is a shrinking market due to rapid cannibalization by smart phones and tablets. The audio-visual market, which involves TV and music systems is estimated at AED 5. (USD .4) billion in 2013 and is expected to grow at 5.5 to 6% in the near future.

The mobile phone market in UAE, which is presently split into smart phones and regular handsets, is estimated at over AED .84 billion (USD 500 million). It is also the fastest segment in consumer electronics, growing at a near double digit growth rate.

The growth of mobile phones, especially smart phones in UAE could be attributed to multiple reasons. Besides, young demographics, expanding job market and rising income driven by economic resurgence and cosmopolitan appeal, two other crucial factors that shape up mobile consumption in UAE are strong brand association with smart phones and massive internet consumption on smartphones. The latter is further bolstered by fast deployment of 4G technologies across the gulf nation.

Besides a large market, UAE headed by Dubai, leads the vast trading market in consumer electronics. Last decade, trade in consumer electronics in Dubai (UAE) has been growing rapidly at an average rate of around 37%, with KSA, Iraq and Kuwait being the top trading partners and accounting for over 50% of the total exports.

Research Konnection

This  analysis is compiled by Research Konnection Team; a UAE based market research and business consulting firm that is focused on capturing latest insights across various sectors and industries in UAE such as retail, real estate, education and tourism etc. If you are looking for more research, information and qualitative/quantitative data, then feel free to contact us on waqas@researchkonnection.com.

Author: RKonnect
The author is the Managing Director of Research Konnection, a Dubai based market research and consulting firm that helps local and international companies to identify emerging business opportunities and successfully expand in the Gulf region. The author can be reached at waqas@researchkonnection.com
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