The recent Eid al-Fitr celebration in Qatar witnessed a demand surge for electronic gadgets, mainly in the smartphones category, Carrefour Qatar country manager Laurent Hausknecht told Gulf Times.
“Customers rushed to our stores to purchase gifts to family members and took the opportunity to purchase smartphones compatible with the Ehteraz app, which has been made mandatory by the Authorities since May 22,” he said.
The Cabinet, chaired by HE the Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Sheikh Khalid bin Khalifa bin Abdulaziz al-Thani, issued a directive requiring all citizens and residents of Qatar to install the app when leaving their homes for any reason.
The app, launched in April by the Ministry of Interior, serves as a tool to further help in preventing the spread of the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) and protecting the health and welfare of people in Qatar. Available in both iOS and Android devices, Ehteraz uses GPS and Bluetooth to perform various services.
Hausknecht noted that Carrefour’s sales of smartphones have more than doubled this Eid compared to the figures last year during the same period. The top brands sold are iPhone, Samsung and Huawei.
“According to recent studies, more than 75% of the population in Qatar owned a smartphone. We therefore, believe that with the new regulations, even more customers will now be connected digitally and able to benefit further from the digital world,” he said.
Carrefour offers a wide range of Ehteraz app-compatible smartphones at different prices starting from QR250 to cater to the needs of all customers and to accommodate different budgets, according to Hausknecht.
He said customers can purchase mobile phones from any Carrefour hypermarket in the country.
“We would like to remind all our valued customers that our stores remain fully stocked and we encourage them to shop responsibly based on their needs, as there is enough supply for everyone,” Hausknecht said.
It is learnt that the demand for smartphones will continue to rise in Qatar as many tech shops and outlets, as well as electronic sections of other hypermarkets, are set to reopen from today (June 1).
A Filipino resident who often visit the hypermarket told Gulf Times that he plans to buy a new mobile device after his iPhone failed to download the Ehteraz app.
He said staying home was the only option left and rely on online shopping and home delivery services for his groceries.
“However, a lot of items I need are not available online and it is too difficult to get a delivery slot so I still prefer to visit the store. While my current phone is still in excellent condition, my only option now is to buy a new one,” he added.