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My Experiences in Dubai

Discuss My Experiences in Dubai at the AV Lounge within the HiFiVision.com - Audio Video Hi-Fi Forum; I have spent the last ten days in Dubai, and had the opportunity to visit ...

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  #1  
Old 24th January 2010, 10:47 AM
 
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My Experiences in Dubai


I have spent the last ten days in Dubai, and had the opportunity to visit a few shops that specialize in audio and video. I had no plans to make any purchases but was generally looking around for a DAC, a CD Player, a monitor, hard drive, and sound cards. My son was kind enough to drive me around and take me to various places.

The biggest retail outlet is Sharaf DG which is an electronics supermarket. They have a number of outlets and the one in Times Square is the largest and best stocked. Sharaf pushes Onkyo, Cambridge Audio, TViX, and a number of speaker brands such as Focal, Wharfedale, Definitive Technology, etc. They also stock Pioneer DVD Players (220 and 440) as well as the Panasonic 60 Blu-Ray player. The Times Square outlet has an excellent HT demo room with high end Epson projector, Onkyo amplification, and in wall speakers from Focal. Saw a few minutes of Fantastic Four that was really impressive. That room has equipment alone worth 100,000 DHS.

Took time off to visit Dubai Audio Centre (DUBAI AUDIO CENTER INDEX) on Sheik Jayed Road. Supposed to be one of the top five audio shops in the world. The shop manager guessed I was just window shopping, but was pleasant enough to make me nearly buy a Naim CD Player. He demonstrated a NaimUniti connected to a pair of Sonus Faber speakers. The system had the capacity of instantly disappear and fill the room with beautiful music. The Uniti alone costs somewhere around 12,000DHS (1,56,000INR).

I also heard a Linn Unidisk 1 connected to Linn Klimax Pre/Power and Katana speakers. The shop manager played the same 'America' album. I felt the Lin combination was shallow compared to the Naim combination.

Dubai Audio centre is a good place, well equipped and has knowledgeable people.

I also visited Audio Visual Lifestyle (http://www.audiovisuallifestyle.com/new/home.htm) near the airport. I spent some time talking to Gautam Duseja, a very pleasant man who delighted in telling me about his company. AVL started as a retailer and ended up doing a lot of residential and commercial products. So they took up distributorship for a number of products such as CA, Anthony Gallo, Vincent, and others. They retail their products through Sharaf DG. I had hoped to listen to the new 650C CD player, but that is not expected till end of February. Gautam wanted me to listen to the 840C amplified through the 840A. Unfortunately AVL only had the small Anthony Gallo speakers and the demo was a real let down. I did not have the heart to tell Gautam what he was doing wrong, and left at at that.

There is a building in Bur Dubai that has two floors of computer retailers. Most of the shops are run by Keralites and Sindhis. There are a few shops run by Chinese. The bulk of the shops are pushing laptops with a few shops selling Mobos, graphic cards, and such. Hard disks are available aplenty. These shops only seem to have low end monitors. And none of the shops have ever heard of sound cards from Asus !!. The knowledge level of most of the shopkeepers were very low.

I finally ended up buying a Samsung FullHD monitor (2450HD) from Samsung's showroom. Though the knowledge level there was also low, I had done my homework on the Net, and was looking for a specific model.

Cheers
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Old 24th January 2010, 11:45 AM
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Re: My Experiences in Dubai

I cldnt get AVR on Sharaf DG web
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Old 24th January 2010, 12:53 PM
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Re: My Experiences in Dubai

Venkat
When I visited Dubai last month (christmas week), I checked out the prices of Denon AVR 1910 and found it to be 2600-2700 AED (I don't remember the exact number) at VRR sons(?) I think in one of the big malls. I did not think it was cheap compared to india. Do you find the electronics prices come down during dubai festival? Thanks for the updates though. Might be useful for anyone visiting Dubai.
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Old 24th January 2010, 04:01 PM
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Re: My Experiences in Dubai

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Originally Posted by raj View Post
Venkat
I did not think it was cheap compared to india. .
876 was last yr model,may be thats why price was low.
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Old 24th January 2010, 05:02 PM
 
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Re: My Experiences in Dubai

Quote:
Originally Posted by venkatcr View Post
I have spent the last ten days in Dubai, and had the opportunity to visit a few shops that specialize in audio and video. I had no plans to make any purchases but was generally looking around for a DAC, a CD Player, a monitor, hard drive, and sound cards. My son was kind enough to drive me around and take me to various places.

The biggest retail outlet is Sharaf DG which is an electronics supermarket. They have a number of outlets and the one in Times Square is the largest and best stocked. Sharaf pushes Onkyo, Cambridge Audio, TViX, and a number of speaker brands such as Focal, Wharfedale, Definitive Technology, etc. They also stock Pioneer DVD Players (220 and 440) as well as the Panasonic 60 Blu-Ray player. The Times Square outlet has an excellent HT demo room with high end Epson projector, Onkyo amplification, and in wall speakers from Focal. Saw a few minutes of Fantastic Four that was really impressive. That room has equipment alone worth 100,000 DHS.

Took time off to visit Dubai Audio Centre (DUBAI AUDIO CENTER INDEX) on Sheik Jayed Road. Supposed to be one of the top five audio shops in the world. The shop manager guessed I was just window shopping, but was pleasant enough to make me nearly buy a Naim CD Player. He demonstrated a NaimUniti connected to a pair of Sonus Faber speakers. The system had the capacity of instantly disappear and fill the room with beautiful music. The Uniti alone costs somewhere around 12,000DHS (1,56,000INR).

I also heard a Linn Unidisk 1 connected to Linn Klimax Pre/Power and Katana speakers. The shop manager played the same 'America' album. I felt the Lin combination was shallow compared to the Naim combination.

Dubai Audio centre is a good place, well equipped and has knowledgeable people.

I also visited Audio Visual Lifestyle (Audio Visual Lifestyle) near the airport. I spent some time talking to Gautam Duseja, a very pleasant man who delighted in telling me about his company. AVL started as a retailer and ended up doing a lot of residential and commercial products. So they took up distributorship for a number of products such as CA, Anthony Gallo, Vincent, and others. They retail their products through Sharaf DG. I had hoped to listen to the new 650C CD player, but that is not expected till end of February. Gautam wanted me to listen to the 840C amplified through the 840A. Unfortunately AVL only had the small Anthony Gallo speakers and the demo was a real let down. I did not have the heart to tell Gautam what he was doing wrong, and left at at that.

There is a building in Bur Dubai that has two floors of computer retailers. Most of the shops are run by Keralites and Sindhis. There are a few shops run by Chinese. The bulk of the shops are pushing laptops with a few shops selling Mobos, graphic cards, and such. Hard disks are available aplenty. These shops only seem to have low end monitors. And none of the shops have ever heard of sound cards from Asus !!. The knowledge level of most of the shopkeepers were very low.

I finally ended up buying a Samsung FullHD monitor (2450HD) from Samsung's showroom. Though the knowledge level there was also low, I had done my homework on the Net, and was looking for a specific model.

Cheers
As someone working and living in that region, I wonder why "Audissey" was skipped (or missed) as they distribute and deal some of the best brands in high-end audio and video. Though I recently read in one of the postings that this forum is not meant for those who can afford to and own Esoteric and other "high-end" stuffs, I presume that a Dubai experience can include some listening to "expensive" equipment also. No audio lover will like to miss a visit to The Adelphi when in Singapore, I believe, though not necessarily to buy those costly things from there.
I believe there are a few more such stores in Dubai though I have no personal experience. I know Audissey (though I never had been to Dubai except in transit) because that is where I bought a Audio Research preamp recently.
Better luck next time.

cheers.
murali
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Old 24th January 2010, 05:03 PM
 
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Re: My Experiences in Dubai

The Denon is selling at 2599 AED today. This price is less than 10,000 INR lower than Indian prices, and not worth the effort.

A Diamond 9.5 based 5.1 set sells for 4499 AED that works out to 58487 INR. Again not different from the prices in India. A 5.0 speaker set based on DefTech BP-7006 is 3900 AED.

As part of my finding out what is available, I was looking around for CD and DVDs. I was particularly interested in original DVDs of new Tamil and Hindi films as well as some hard to get music CDs such as Jazz At The Pawn Shop. I was also eagerly looking to see if I could lay my hands on some DVD-A and some SACD.

Tamil DVD are not available in Dubai unless you are ready to buy pirated DVDs. As you go near Meena Bazar, you come across 100s of Keralites hawking 'original' Rolex, Omegas and other watches at 150AED. I asked one of these hawkers if I could get some Tamil DVDs and he said that only pirated ones are available. As I roamed about in Meena Bazar, I came across a shop called 'Kams Trading' that were selling some original Hindi and English DVDs, but in small quantity. He hardly had any music CDs.

Today I visited Virgin Superstore in Mall Of The Emirate. They have decent quantity of music CDs (rock, pop, regional, international), a large option in DVDs (movies and TV series), and music videos. Absolutely no SACDs or DVD-As. And all CDs and DVDs are much more expensive than India. A music CD is around 50 to 80 DHS, while most DVDs hover around 85DHS. Blu-Ray is around 175-200DHS, and not too many in number also.

Virgin Superstore seems to be about the only shop that sells music CDs and DVDs.

When I visited the computer shops yesterday, I also realised that CD writers have gone the way of the dodos. DVD writers (internal and external) are available from Sony, LG, Samsung, Lite-On and other companies.

The only Blu-ray writer that is available seems to be LG GGC-H20L from LG and selling around at 875-900 DHS. This can play HD DVDs also in addition to Blu-Ray.

Cheers
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Old 24th January 2010, 05:15 PM
 
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Re: My Experiences in Dubai

Murali, I did not come here to do any serious survey of audio/video shops. I cam here to spend time with my son. These visitations were very casual and I had no particular agenda in mind. My main purchase requisition was a Monitor and a hard drive. I have got both.

I will visit Audissey next time I come to Dubai. Anybody else who comes to Dubai can also visit Audissey.

Cheers
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Old 24th January 2010, 11:05 PM
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Re: My Experiences in Dubai

anybody buying blurays from virgin stores ,kindly chk for region coding they stock reg B (very strange but true) have ended up with a couple of reg B BDs from virgin store/dubai
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Old 7th September 2012, 03:54 PM
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Re: My Experiences in Dubai

I have a looong layover at Dubai on my way to US...any suggestions on what I do in the meantime...Audessey and DAC sound interesting...worth it? Something closer to the Airport preferable...

Also...any suggestions for Audio around Dallas?


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