Consumers crave for modernity, innovation

Consumers crave for modernity, innovation
Dubai is shoppers paradise when it comes to innovation and style.

Increasing purchasing power and improving lifestyles are fostering the demand for technologically advanced products Increasing purchasing power and improving lifestyles are fostering the demand for technologically advanced products



by

Ishtiaq Ali Mehkri

Published: Tue 12 Jun 2018, 3:11 PM

Last updated: Wed 13 Jun 2018, 1:04 PM

The UAE is the hub for shopping and fashion trends. While more than 200 nationalities live here, the consumer market is abuzz with new innovations, and people make it a point to gather the latest collection and move their lifestyle to the next orbit. This is where consumer appliances, electronics, automobiles, and even jewellery, makes inroads, leading to stable business activity and productivity.
Despite global economic downslide, Dubai's retail sales, especially consumer electronics, continue to show growth. It is attributed to solid fundamentals that include rising population and incomes together with a steady influx of tourists to the emirate. Dubai's consumer electronics market size during 2015 stood at $2.4 billion, and today is projected to increase at the rate of 10 per cent.
The UAE consumer appliances market on the other hand is evolving. Companies, firms and traders involved in retail and wholesale, as well as producers, distributors, sellers and importers of these targeted products are busy reorienting their salesmanship, as well as clearing stocks on special occasions such as festivals and annual shopping sales. This has given a boost to sales, allowing people to plan their purchase at any time of the calendar year. Such a trend was evident as before the imposition of value added tax, sellers and buyers were in frenzy mode, which impacted the sales sheet enormously.
It is usually considered that year-end and the eve of festivals are of immense importance for consumer goods and electronic appliances. It is common belief that people like to buy new range of products almost every year. They get an opportunity to choose the new trends in electronics and home appliances and benefit from special sales and offers. Electronic brands and appliances usually come up with combo deals on the occasion. 
Market observers say that the main trend in consumer electronics sales is the gradual move towards more compact and multifunctional devices, especially those that offer Internet connectivity, with consumers' lifestyles becoming increasingly highly mobile and fast paced. Resultantly, items such as tablets and smartphones enjoy solid growth in sales. However, the increasing quality, processing power, and range of applications offered by these devices are taking market share from many other items, such as digital cameras, portable mp3 players, DVD players, laptops and desktops. 
Dubai's electronics and appliance specialist retailers continue to be the leading channel in consumer electronics due to their advantage in having a wide product selection and price range, as well as offering expert advice and tailored recommendations. 
The UAE's youngsters have a craze for technologically advanced gadgets and keep themselves up-to-date with the latest innovations. Additionally, many consumers see electronic gadgets such as smartphones, tablets and smart watches as status symbols. Another sub-category, the home audio and cinema has benefitted greatly from the residents' frequent purchases and product upgrades. Growth rate is seen in sales of Smart TVs, as well as cellular phone gadgets.
Dubai's consumer electronics market size is forecast to grow at six per cent over the next five years. The portable consumer electronics sub-category is expected to keep its lead with a 2020 sales forecast of $1.5 billion. Computers and peripherals sub-category is forecast to retain its size at $1,000 million.
Likewise, personal computer hardware sales have bounced back up in 2017, mainly due to strong growth, soaring demand and rise in oil prices. Exponential growth in value-added sectors such as construction of new units, residential complexes and the hobby to change electronic and tele-communication gadgets, especially cell phones, has led to bonanza sales. Similarly, a sustained growth is projected in next many years in PC sales, desktop sales, notebook and tablet.
Computer hardware spending had contracted in the UAE in 2015 and 2016, a trend that resulted from device trends, including saturation of the tablet market and the competitive threat posed by smartphones, as well as economic uncertainty generated by a lower oil price. The market, nevertheless, has bounced back owing to recovery in global economy.
Likewise, consumer appliances saw a strong retail volume growth on an annual basis. Strong growth is being driven by a number of trends, including a shift from renting to home ownership and a shift from unfurnished to semi-furnished property. A rise in the population is also fuelling growth, while the consumer base for many areas is also being swelled by an increase in tourist demand, as shopping tourism continues to see strong growth in the UAE. There is also a growing focus on health and wellness gadgets in the country, directly linked to lifestyle.
The home appliances industry is currently witnessing a renaissance. Consumers are moving away from standard equipment and looking to make smart purchases. The smart home appliances market is expected to witness a significant growth in the coming years, due to technological advancement in electronics and communication sectors and the growing need for energy efficiency. The consumer appliances market is thus expected to see a strong performance.
- mehkri@khaleejtimes.com 


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