Big crowds of shoppers were yesterday seen visiting the Doha Trade Fair to look for last minute bargains and possible drop in prices of various items on offer as the ten-day event draws to a close today.
On offer at the shopping festival, being held for the second time this year by the Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) under the patronage of the Qatar Chamber (QC) chairman Sheikh Khalifa bin Jassim bin Mohamed al-Thani, are a rich mix of products.
They range from clothes including abayas and jalabias as well as evening gowns to shoes and bags, jewellery, earthenware, ceramics and porcelain, interior decoration, lights, children’s wears, handbags, duvet and bed sheets, gold-plated dinning and kitchen sets, household items, toys, gadgets and electronics, perfumes, Oud and cosmetics as well as spices and condiments.
Ladies dresses cost from QR200 while some of the jewellery including rings, bracelets, bangles and necklace sets cost from QR400 to as high as QR5,000.
Also available are hand-made costume jewelleries priced from QR50 to QR1,000. Prices of perfumes, Ouds and other cosmetics start from QR100.
Turkish and Iranian carpets hand woven from either silk or wool or a mixture of both are also on sale.
Masterpieces of art works by Iranian painter from Asgari Paintry are also on offer for sale from QR500 up to QR3,000.
Many shoppers carrying big shopping bags were seen leaving the fair grounds and some were being assisted by the porters to load their cars with their purchase.
Most of the exhibitors at the fair had earlier expressed disappointment and complained of poor sales after the first three days, blaming a lack of aggressive marketing/advertising campaigns and the summer break.
Some of them said they had expected to rake in huge profits this year with two major shopping malls in the country – Villaggio and City Center Doha - temporarily closed during the trade fair.
The City Center Doha reopened yesterday.
However, judging by the large number of visitors that turned up yesterday evening and the long queues of shoppers withdrawing money from the five cash machines (including two mobile ATMs and one inside the coffee shop), it could be concluded that sales were ‘really good’.
And the fair organisers could claim their expectation of more than 250,000 visitors at the 10-day fair.
Speaking to Gulf Times at the award and appreciation dinner held at the Dana Club yesterday for notable exhibitors, country agents and Qatar’s security personnel for their support and co-operation throughout the shopping fair, the event planner Maraya Public Relations’s marketing manager Maher A Eid said the event was successful.
“We are proud to say that this summer trade fair has been so far successful because Qatar is a very good market no matter what period of the year and exhibitors have many good reasons to return here each year,” he said.
Eid, whose company had helped the QTA plan the previous fairs between 2008 -2010, mentioned that some 250 traders and exhibitors are already on waiting list for the next winter trade fair 2013.
“We have a total of 550 exhibitors from 31 countries including from the Gulf, as well as other Arab and Asian countries and we couldn’t accommodate more due to lack of space and fear of over-crowding, but hopefully next year the QTA will be able to make a befitting extension in order to provide room for all the applicants,” he added.
The timing of the fair today is from 11am-10pm daily. Entry is free.