AFTER gold, the next best buy in Dubai is electronic and electrical goods. The city is a shoppers' paradise for the products: name the brand, and it will be available - at very reasonable prices.
The strength of this market derives from the flourishing re-export trade, in both the bulk and retail markets.
The re-export trade developed in the 1970s, mainly with Iran, India and countries in East Africa. In 1989, the East European market was tapped for its huge potential and, last year, saw the arrival of the Russians.
According to trade sources, their entry has raised turnover volumes by almost 25 per cent. A majority of Russia's exports in electronics and electrical goods go through Dubai.
Earlier this year, the world leaders in high-tech, electronic consumer goods took part in the region's biggest consumer show at the World Trade Centre in Dubai.
Participants took with them the latest hi-fi products, television sets, videos, home appliances, cam-corders - in fact, anything you are likely to buy in the next few years - and displayed them in front of a record crowd.
But they have not seen anything yet. By the turn of the century, with digital technology playing a pivotal role in entertainment electronics, a new generation of products should emerge, offering better performance and more features.
With the worldwide industry predicted to be worth US$1.2 billion by 1995, Dubai plans to ensure it will have a big bite of this burgeoning market.
In little more than a decade, the emirate has succeeded in making itself one of the most commercially viable marketplaces in the world. Much of this is due to the government's policies, the excellent infrastructure and the near absence of import duties.
The city's shops are ready for the future.
Among them will be Jacky's Electronics, which opened in the emirate in 1985 with a view to co-ordinating its mail-order business in Hong Kong.
Sensing tremendous business potential, Jacky's ventured into the retail business in 1988 and now boasts two showrooms, one in the heart of the city's commercial centre, the other near Dubai International Airport.
Jacky's is well-known to residents of Dubai and visitors. The reason for its reputation is that it has maintained a clear competitive edge in prices, quality, range and service.
Jacky's association with Hong Kong goes back to 1970, when it established its first office in the territory. The firm is confident of a great future for Hong Kong and its belief is reflected in a new showroom, soon to open in Chung King Mansions, Tsim Sha Tsui.
Jacky's international trading activities cover more than 75 countries and its mail-order business is growing in leaps and bounds. It markets electronics, appliances, office equipment and any other item on request.
There is little doubt that Dubai, the entrepot between the East and West, is the market of the future.
Anticipating this, Jacky's has acquired warehousing facilities in Jebel Ali as well as establishing its headquarters on the Dubai Airport Road.