Electronics sales ride on Dubai tourism arrivals

Dubai is set to reguster better sales of electronic goods as tourism arrivals are on the rise. (FILE)

The UAE's consumer electronics devices market, defined as the addressable market for computing devices, mobile handsets and video, audio and gaming products, is projected at $3.1bn (Dh11.4bn) in 2011. This expected to increase to US$4bn by 2015, driven the popularity of new electronic devices such as LED and 3G TV sets, 3G mobile handsets, smartphones, feature-rich notebooks, MP3/MP4 players and Bluray players.

In 2010, modest single-digit growth in consumer electronics sales was expected. Sales recovered in January 2010, building on pick-up in Q4 2009 but while most large consumer electronics retailers expect better times ahead, they remained cautious. The shift towards more cautious domestic spending patterns is likely to persist well into 2011, with consumption growth remaining muted, particularly in Dubai. However, Dubai benefited most from a pick-up in the tourist trade, providing a boost to the important carry trade for electronics goods.


Computer hardware accounted for 57 per cent of the UAE's consumer electronics spending in 2009. BMI forecasts domestic market computer hardware sales, including notebooks and accessories, of US$1.8bn in 2011, up from US$1.7bn in 2010. The compound annual growth rate (CAGR) for sales of computer hardware over 2011-2015 is forecast at about six per cent. Stronger demand in the notebook sector is the main driver as consumers feel the benefits of aggressive channel promotions.


AV devices accounted for about 30 per cent of consumer electronics spending in the UAE in 2009. The addressable Emirati AV device market is projected at US$969mn in 2011. The market is expected to grow at a CAGR of sixper cent between 2011 and 2015 to reach US$1.2bn by the end of the forecast period. The rollout of high definition broadcasting will drive demand for premium TV sets and Blu-ray devices. Meanwhile following the launch of 3D TV services by triple-play service provider Etisalat, vendors will target this potential growth area.

Mobile handsets

Mobile handset sales accounted for approximately 13 per cent of UAE consumer electronics spending in 2009. Following a reverse last year, market handset sales are expected to grow at a CAGR of five per cent to $426m through to 2015, when mobile subscriber penetration is forecast to pass 238 per cent. Sales will be dominated by the replacement market and revenues driven by demand for smartphones and 3G handsets, despite recent uncertainty surrounding potential restrictions on BlackBerry services in the UAE.

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