Dubai Plaza traders fight back

Traders in Dubai's Computer Plaza are looking for new locations to safeguard future

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By  Julian Pletts Published  August 5, 2008

Computer traders in Dubai's Al-Ain Centre are seriously exploring the possibility of opening premises outside of the mall in a bid to safeguard their future.

Al-Ain Centre, better known as Computer Plaza, has established a reputation as a hub for all kinds of technology products, particularly notebook PCs. However, residents continue to feel the pressure as consumers and small businesses increasingly turn to the large shopping malls for their IT needs.

Traders in the plaza admit they are now seriously considering exporting their business model to other corners of Dubai because intense competition, coupled with issues such as traffic congestion, is having an unfavourable impact.

Computer Care is one company that has its eye on spreading to other locations in a bid to reach a new audience and reduce dependence on the plaza.

"We are thinking of expanding outside of Computer Plaza because New Dubai is becoming very popular and most of the tourists will go over there and stay over there," explained Computer Care boss Harish Kanjani.

Like an increasing number of his neighbours, Kanjani believes that new business hubs will spring up in the developing parts of Dubai, providing an ideal opportunity for IT retailers to establish additional revenue streams.

"I think if something like Computer Plaza is developed in New Dubai people will be very keen to go," he said.

KU Shankri, director of Lucky Star Trading, admits expansion is something her company is pondering as well, but she has not yet put a timeframe on any plans.

"We have been talking about it and plan to open something in Media City," she said. "We are also thinking about expanding into the New Dubai side, at a retail park. But how far it will be into the future and how successful it will be we do not know. However, if someone decided to move to that side of Dubai they could cash in and make more money."

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