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Are the deals in GITEX Shopper really worth it?

Are the deals in GITEX Shopper really worth it?

Eva Fernandes braves the far reaches of Dubai Airport Expo and the dreaded public mayhem of Gitex promotions and bargains to find out, are the discounts really worth it?

October 10, 2011 12:12 by

…Dh49 a month, you can see why the penny pincher in me is torn by my options.

I still haven’t made up my mind. But now that I have the options, I am going to sleep over it.

If you are the kind of person that is a sucker for freebies, if you love haggling and thrive in a bustling environment, then get down here instantly! But if this chaotic set-up doesn’t sound like your cup of tea, don’t worry about it! You can still get take advantage of the good data plan packages and freebies without the chaos-remember the offers here at GITEX Shopper are available at the retail outlets in the malls (for the period of the exhibition).

Either way if you decide to go ahead and get your toes wet in the tricky GITEX waters, do tell us how you fared!

Initial coverage, 1030am at GITEX Shopper, Dubai World Trade Centre

I am doing two very stressful things today that I haven’t done in a long time:

#1: I am going to battle the tech-crazy crowds at the GITEX shopper.

#2: I am going to look out for, and hopefully, buy a phone.

If you think this is hyperbole let me give you some background. The reputation of GITEX Shopper precedes itself. Think about the stress of walking through those stalls, negotiating your way through a frenzied crowd desperate to get every last freebie from equally frenzied young staff equally desperate to throw every last freebie into a deal to seal their commission.

And then think about the fact that we are talking about tech-crazy Dubai where people change phones like they change their hairstyle.

To add to this, think about the fact that in my entire life I have never bought a phone for myself. This is not for anything but pure loyalty, inertia and partly indecision. The first phone I ever had was a gift- an adorable tiny Sony Ericson. I clung to that Sony Ericson long after it had served its time: by the time I was done with it, it was being held together with a lot of cell-o-tape. I sometimes thought of getting a new phone, but quite frankly the choice of getting a phone with a camera or rather one with an internal capacity of more than 56MB was as exciting as it was confusing. Too many options, I stupidly thought back then, and was happy to accept another mobile phone from my near and dear ones who thought it was time for change.

And since then, I haven’t really changed phones at all. While everyone has been eager to  jump into the ‘smart’-phone generation, I have happily stayed ‘stupid.’ My phone does very little apart from making and receiving calls and texts and then taking blurry pictures. It occasionally throws a tantrum by turning off at will and refusing to recognise the SIM card for five minutes. But all that is OK. I understand phones can be temperamental; it is all a way of getting some of our attention.

But when a happily growing colony of dead pixels appeared on my phone’s screen, I realised it was time; time to get a new phone. And while we’re on that path, why not get the smartest of them all? And so my search begins, so conveniently timed to the launch of GITEX and GITEX Shopper.

I don’t really know what I am looking for, but I am hoping it will be as affordable as it will be functional. I am hoping to score a great deal with one of the telecos that will allow me access to a great data package rendering the handset almost free.

Keep dreaming? Well, maybe; but hey! I am at GITEX; I am going to stay optimistic.

Wish me luck! And if you have any suggestions on where I should start please do!


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  1. OFiroz on October 11, 2011 5:31 pm

    I was there at Gitex 2011 shopper as well as exhibition hall in trade center, Shopper is full of school kids promoting the devices in very rash and unpolished manner, as they are not trained, just doing work for some quick bucks. Utterly annoying, they don’t even allow you to look at any of the electronic items. I was checking a LED TV, I know very well how LED works, so let me check different brands and make up my mind on one, these guys will not allow me to do so, I said I am just checking please allow me to have a look at it, a weird looking guy said OK to me and when I moved a bit closer to the TV he started explaining to me about differences in LED, LCD, LG and Panasonic.
    In another stall a kid offer me a best service by telling me he knows five different languages and what language should he be explaining to me!
    I said calmly, I just wanted you to keep quiet!
    For iPad2 outside is AED1800, in shopper AED 2250. LG LCD TV outside AED 1780 in shopper AED 2500! Of course with some worthless goodies!

  2. John on October 12, 2011 10:27 am

    i was also faced with the same dilemma when choosing the ‘best’ smartphone. I really wanted to buy an Android or iPhone but ended up with the BB9900 from Etisalat. The data packages here are ridiculously high and the BB packages are very competitive. In the end I am happy with what I have and the 200mb was enough for me to be online 24/7 on BBM, FB and YM (and 2 email accts).


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