Abu Dhabi Electronics Shopper - an interesting journey.

Photo Courtesy of
I still don't have my own to photograph.
Look, I am aware that "The Abu Dhabi Electronics Shopper" is only in it's second year, and I hope that one day it will be a rival of some of the international shows.

I went with two things on my list:

  1. The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 - a phone I have been lusting after and researching AND pricing since it was first released.
  2. A printer. I am a full time student now, and while my current printer is okay, it is also woefully inefficient. (And I print A LOT)
So when I heard that there was going to be a proper electronics show right here in the mighty Abu Dhabi, well, if I had a tail I would have wagged it.

Today is day one, I arrived 45 minutes after the opening bell with a pocket full of cash, and set about hunting down my prey.

When I say I have been researching the Galaxy note, I should really say that I have been obsessing over it. Mrs Abu Dhabilist and I can't walk into a mall without me "just popping in to that store to see the Galaxy". I justify this behaviour having spent the last 18 years with a woman who does a similar thing with shoes.
And clothes.
And build-a-bears (long story)

So I know what they are worth at retail.
I know what kind of stuff usually gets packaged with them to sweeten a deal.
I also know that as a student, I have limited funding, and to be fair my 3 year old Nexus refuses flatly to die and thus give me a real excuse for purchasing a new one.
In fact I think the trusty old Nexus knows I am lusting after a newer, younger, hotter model, and is living on just to spite me.

I can hear it laughing at me as I type.

But I digress...

I drove to ADNEC, which by any standard is a great venue for any expo, and strode in from the carpark filled with anticipation.

I even went for the VIP ticket - although it is entirely unclear what benefits that held, other than a gratefully received book of entertainment vouchers. There was a ticket stub to be filled out for some kind of prize draw, but none of the three people I asked seemed to know exactly where it was to be deposited. 
The instructions seemed simple enough "Drop this coupon to win prizes at the exhibition" - while I did think about taking the instruction literally, I ended up just jamming the thing back in my pocket.

"Yes yes... but what happened with the phone?"

I'm getting to that.

It seems that all the stalls had priced the phone at exactly the same price - an unusual situation given that in my obsession  research, all of the stores represented at the expo have varied retail prices in their brick and mortar stores.

More unusual was that the displayed price of the 4g Galaxy note 3 at the expo was about 10% more than I had been quoted in my travels to malls and stores in Abu Dhabi. Of course there was negotiation to be done, but that only dropped the price to at or above the store price.

"But, this comes with 550 dirhams of gift vouchers, and an entertainer book" said one.
"Ours comes with a 150 dirham voucher" said another.
When I suggested to them that as deals go, there wasn't much real value there, they just shrugged.

At 2649 dirhams listed, and "Show discount" of 200 dirhams (making it 2449) it is still about 50 dirhams MORE THAN RETAIL for a 4g note.

I get that things cost money, and that to get any item here requires significant effort, but this is an expo.

People expect deals at expos.
People GO to expos to get deals.

Sure, I wasn't expecting a half price deal, but I certainly wasn't expecting retail+ prices.

Perhaps stockists here need to have a look at what they include in their expo packages.
Like something of value.
For instance: a samsung case and bluetooth headset thingy to go with the phone.
Or free Dragon skin.
Or a box of kittens.
Something tangible at least.

Gift vouchers don't cut it.

"I'm bored with phones, talk about printers, because printers are SO interesting..."

I'll thank you to stop rolling your eyes, but since you asked.

There weren't any.
Well, that's not true, there were four. Four individual printers. All on the Samsung stand. There could have been more I suppose, but I had done two laps of the place and had a bad taste in my mouth re: the whole Galaxy thing.

I have nothing to say about gaming either - the biggest news in the gaming universe occurred over the Christmas period - namely the release of the next generation of gaming consoles. PS4 and Xbox One.
I'd like to tell you about them. I really would. Sadly, there wasn't any real representation for either.

As I said at the beginning, this is a very young expo - this is only its second year, and I can only hope that each year that passes gives the organisers more information and experience to carry forward to the following year.

GITEX is coming up, and I'll take my carefully accrued savings there to see what I can see, even if that means I have to go to Dubai and battle the crowds/parking snarls etc.

The thing is, the AD expo could be amazing, the venue is great with excellent access and parking.
The gulf is gagging for a real and innovative show, and I hope that in time Abu Dhabi is the show that the rest of the MENA region talks about.

They can start by telling their traders to work harder to provide real deals to their punters. Modern shoppers a savvy bunch, and we aren't at all influenced by low value vouchers; and if the punters don't get deals, they won't come back. If there are no punters, big names won't bother, and all we will have left is an over sized showroom for local stores - selling at more than retail presumably to cover their stall rent.

I hope that the event becomes huge, and attracts people from all over to come and see the new stuff, right now though it would be hard to justify a cab ride to the event, let alone a plane ticket.


Essential resources, books and links.

There are literally thousands of different books, blogs, and 'helpful' sites on the big circuit board of info that is the internet.

Some are really helpful, in that they actually hand over information that is relevant to the experience of living here in the great sandy climes.

SOME are really helpful in that they can be used to stabilise a coffee table, or in the case of blogs and sites, printed then used to stabilise a coffee table.


Go somewhere, get drunk and dance.

Arrival at Tribhuvan airport, with 3 glasses of wine under my belt was great.


The fight to Nepal.

All went to the usual schedule for our departure to the airport.
In that, I was ready. My bride working on her standard theory that as she had banked time by checking in on line, she had no need to hurry at all.


Check your tyres, but be nice about it.

“Honey?” I said to Mrs Ad-ist, “How long has the car been shuddering like this?”