DUBAI // Second-hand Ikea furniture, mobile phones and cheap deals on flat-screen TVs – these are what you would expect most shoppers to be hunting online.
But classifieds website Dubizzle says the most searched-for item this year has been Rolex watches.
“Rolex being the number one brand searched on a classifieds website, I think, is quite unique to the UAE,” said Irina Katchan, Dubizzle’s marketing manager. “The market here strives to get luxury items at a discounted price.”
Dubizzle has, for the first quarter of this year, released its first rundown of goods advertised.
Items included a diamond valued at Dh970,000. At the lower end were eggs and a used toothbrush.
Dubizzle said the value of clothes and accessories advertised was Dh181 million, or twice what Brad Pitt took home each year.
Mobiles, with a total value of Dh72.3m, equalled Britney Spears’ annual income.
Furniture totalling Dh87.5m equalled four top-end Lamborghini Veneno Roadsters, and the value of watches for sale online was more than Dh156m, or double what George Clooney banks each year.
Behind Rolex in the most searched-for list was furniture, iPhones and Bose sound systems.
“I would have guessed it would have been furniture rather than luxury-branded watches because there is a lot of traffic in the furniture and mobile phone sections,” Ms Katchan said.
Other popular listings included computers, cameras, baby strollers, guitars and bicycles. Pets also made the list, with adoptions of cats almost tripling those of dogs – 2,853 to 1,011.
“It’s a good mix of luxury, budget and local brands and interesting to see what the user is looking for,” Ms Katchan said. “The diversity could be because of the transient nature of expats.
“There is a big focus on the retail industry but actually in the UAE economy there is a lot of trade and bartering happening, interesting bargains you can get on the side.”
The diamond worth Dh970,000 was the most expensive object on the site. Details were not immediately available about the gem’s size or whether the owner received the asking price.
About 482,032 used goods and objects were put up for sale, equalling one posting every two seconds. The total value of second-hand items posted in the first quarter totalled Dh3.5 billion.
“It shows how people are moving items and that anything can be sold,” said Abdallah Touqan, Dubizzle’s communications manager.
"We had an aeroplane on sale last month or people randomly place eggs on sale or a second-hand toothbrush."
The report focused on the classifieds section so cars, homes and jobs were not included. The prices for items sold are not in the report because the website does not keep track of successful sales or prices.
Trends followed by Dubai residents were also noted by interior design experts who worked on eight homes in 2014 and this year as part of the “Dubizzle your home” series launched last September.
A bachelor pad, a children’s bedroom and living rooms of winners in Dubai, Sharjah and Abu Dhabi were renovated within a Dh5,000 budget from items posted for sale.
“The trends in Dubai change rapidly with people moving from going ape to looking for multi-functionality now, as they seem to want to simplify their lives,” said designer Sebastian Strassburg.
His colleague Darrin De-Grads said: “How much people spend varies but we’re seeing people realising they can revamp their home by changing something as fundamental as the lighting.”