Why a bi-annual GITEX Shopper makes good business sense
After 22 years of being an annual event, the decision to host the GITEX Shopper bi-annually marks a decided change in the retail technology landscape of the region.
October 7, 2012 5:24 by Eva Fernandes
Dubai’s social calendar may currently be studded with summits and trade exhibitions, but for many many years the GITEX shopper dominated the list. Launched over 20 years ago, the GITEX shopper reduced the city to gridlocked traffic filled with cars full of hyped-up tech-loving –jittery nerves. The traffic that snaked about the exhibition halls was a good testament to the many that waited the whole year to buy that new CPU, printer or fax machine.
Fast forward 22 years. Conveniently located by the Dubai World Trade Center metro station, the GITEX shopper has transformed into an easily accessible and widely visited exhibition for all things retail technology related—not forgetting the abundance of food and beverage options available to shoppers at the venue and further down on Sheikh Zayed road. Though many have questioned whether the exhibition is the best place to snag a good deal, judging by the turn-out, the anticipation and general excitement for retail technology, the exhibition has retained its appeal.
Yet the true marker of the increased importance the retail technology sector is playing in the UAE economy, comes in the form of an announcement that the GITEX Shopper will be held twice a year. Though it will be half as long, held from April 3rd to the 6th, the decision to host the GITEX bi-annually will help vendors to showcases the latest releases on either side of the year.
“It is important for the UAE to maintain its leadership position in sustaining the growth of technology in the region, and, we have the support to deliver the successful Gitex Shopper extravaganza twice annually” said Helal Saeed Al Merri, CEO of Dubai World Trade Centre.
The decision to host GITEX shopper biannually after 22 years of doing otherwise, is, to put it simply, pretty big. It is a brave and smart departure from past tradition to keep up with the UAE’s increased penchant for purchasing technology—and a timely one at that.