New iPhone in demand but discounts hard to find at Dubai's Gitex Shopper

Thousands of shoppers descend on Dubai World Trade Centre in search of a bargain

Visitors peruse the electronic items on display during the opening day of Gitex Shopper at Dubai World Trade Centre. Pawan Singh / The National 
Visitors peruse the electronic items on display during the opening day of Gitex Shopper at Dubai World Trade Centre. Pawan Singh / The National 

Thousands of people flocked to the opening day of Gitex Shopper in Dubai in the hopes of bagging hi-tech bargain buys.

As expected, the hottest item on show was the new iPhone 11, along with the iPhone 11 Pro Max.

However, those setting their sights on saving a generous chunk of dirhams on Apple's much-hyped products were largely left with a fruitless search.

Many cash-savvy shoppers were frustrated as retailers offered bundle deals, including back packs, suitcases, headphones and coffee makers, rather than substantial discounts on the in-demand device.

“I came here to pick up the new iPhone and see if there were any good offers but it is no cheaper than going to the mall,” said Filipino student Gem Macalama, 20.

“I understand that the phone is a pretty new product but there is no real advantage to buying it here.”

The iPhone 11 was available at the same starting price, Dh2,949, from a number of retailers at Gitex.

It was also on sale for the same amount from all of the company’s websites.

Gitex Shopper has built up a reputation as a must-visit event for people eager to pick up discounted electronic goods, including everything from laptops and mobile phones to televisions and washing machines.

The opening day at Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) on Tuesday was no different.

Also shopping for a new iPhone was Kazakhstani enterprenuer Medet Azhdembayev, 32, who was in town for business.

“I arrived yesterday and a taxi driver told me I had to go here if I wanted to save money and get a good deal,” he said.

Bargain hunters turned out in force at Gitex Shopper, with the new iPhone high on the wish list of many. Pawan Singh / The National
Bargain hunters turned out in force at Gitex Shopper, with the new iPhone high on the wish list of many. Pawan Singh / The National

“I am very impressed by the prices of the new iPhone. If I bought it at home in Kazakhstan it would cost around Dh4,000.”

Faruh Auliyakuliyey, 26, was in two minds about being offered bundle deals instead of actual price reductions.

“There are very limited choices here if you want to actually spend less money than you would in the malls,” said Mr Auliyakuliyey, who works in the Dubai hospitality industry.

“We heard everyone talking about these big discounts you get if you are looking for a new phone, there are no discounts though.

“You get offers like an additional back pack that you wouldn’t get anywhere else. I really need a back pack so it’s good for me.”

Ahmed Abbas, 40, travelled from his home country of Bahrain especially for Gitex.

“I thought that I might have able to save some money but there are not that many reductions, it’s all about freebies that are thrown in,” said the business consultant, who was looking for a new laptop.

“I thought the prices would be a bit better but it is still worthwhile as it saves me from having to go to a mall and trawling from shop to shop.”

The new iPhone 11, released in September, was one of the most Googled things in the world in 2019. Pawan Singh / The National
The new iPhone 11, released in September, was one of the most Googled things in the world in 2019. Pawan Singh / The National

Also on the hunt for a laptop was Muhammad Faizan, 28, from Pakistan.

“I have come here because so many people have told me about the great deals that you can find,” said the engineer.

“I am pretty impressed, there are lots of iconic gadgets on sale at good prices plus you get decent offers like free power banks.”

Mr Faizan said he was looking for a gaming laptop so he could play online with friends.

“I like to play games like Assassin’s Creed and Call of Duty so it’s important to have a laptop that offers good speed,” he said.

“I think I will definitely buy one today because the offers are so good.”

Gitex Shopper runs until Saturday.

Published: September 24, 2019 04:04 PM

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