UAE tech retailers split on Gitex Shopper duration

Gitex Shopper Spring 2016
Visitors look at cameras available at Emax on the opening day of Gitex Shopper Spring 2016 Photo: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News

Leading electronics retailers are in talks with organisers of the Gitex Shopper — Dubai World Trade Centre — to cut down the number of days of the main Gitex Shopper in October from eight to either five or six days and increase the Spring edition [April] from four to six days, Gulf News reports. However, some retailers want both shows extended.

Neelesh Bhatnagar, CEO of Emax, said that four days for the Spring edition are too short and by the time sales pick up after one or two days, the event is finished. “I also want the Spring edition to be increased from four to six days and the Winter event to be cut down from eight to six days. I feel four is too short and eight is too long. So we will have two events with six days’ duration,” he said.

The organisers are trying to work around it because the “calendar of DWTC is full” and it is extremely difficult to find more days. The industry has given its feedback and “we are expecting them [organisers] to take some action,” he said.

Quiet days

Omar Abushaban, general manager of Plug Ins, said that his take is that the eight days is too long as the first three days are pretty quiet and the footfall picks up tremendously in the last four days. “We are not part of the discussions but there is some discussion which is required on the number of days. There will be a big debate on the required number of days,” he said.

Even if the event is dropped down to five or six days, he said that the traffic is still expected to pick during the last three days. So extending the Spring show and cutting down on the Winter show makes sense.

The dates for Gitex Shopper Fall 2016 and Gitex Shopper Spring 2017 are already confirmed for October 1-8, 2016, and March 28-31, 2017, respectively.

Trixie LohMirmand. Senior Vice-President at Dubai World Trade Centre, said that DWTC is always engaging its participants in Gitex Shopper on ways to enrich the “retail experience”.

Mahesh Chotrani, assistant vice-president of Jacky’s Electronics, however, wants the October event to be extended to nine days from one Friday to the next Saturday and reduce the number of hours on weekdays.

He said that the real activity starts on the fifth day of the October shopper. In a four-day shopper, there is no time to react. The real activity starts from the evening of the first day itself. “We are in discussions with the organisers. The crowd will always come on the third or fourth day and it is a long weekend,” he said.