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Today is Singles’ Day or Guanggun Jie, a day for the unmarried Chinese people to celebrate their single status, marked on November 11 (11/11).

The concept that originated in Nanjing University in China during the 1990s for celebrating singlehood has now, a couple of decades later, evolved into one the most important online shopping days in the year, overtaking Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

To commemorate the occasion here in the UAE, Chinese online smartphone brand Honor has launched a “singles’ day” campaign today.

Honor, an online-only brand of Huawei, launched its flagship Honor 7 smartphone last month, when Chris Sun Baigong, VP of Honor Mena, reiterated that the firm was on track to meet its global target of selling 40 million units in 2015, and a revenue of $5 billion.

Read: Huawei Honor 7 sneak preview: The iPhone-killer arrives in UAE

Now, with almost two months yet to go, he says that Honor has already met that target and is looking at making another billion dollars over the next few weeks. “Having already achieved its global target of 40 million, honor is now looking to achieve $6 billion revenue and with nearly 10 per cent of our global sales expected to occur over the three Honor Gala days, we are well on track,” he said.

The brand has launched a 3-day marketing campaign across 19 regions (including the Middle East), and Sun Baigong expects the firm to sell “between 8 and 10 per cent of total global sales within the three Honor Gala days”.

The next 72 hours, therefore, could see Honor selling up to 4 million smartphones – that works out to a little less than 1,000 Honor smartphones sold every minute.

Besides offering price-discounts and bundles with its flagship smartphones, the firm is offering customers in UAE and Saudi Arabia the chance to win a drone and tablets for users who share the word using #HonorGalaDayME hashtag.

“On November 11, Single’s Day, the Honor Gala will commence on Souq.com, which will run promotions and provide prizes to consumers who buy either a Honor 7, Honor 6 plus or Honor 4X phone. Honor is offering the chance for someone in the UAE to win a DJI Drone Phantom 3 worth Dh5,999 if they share and spread the word online and for two lucky winners in Saudi Arabia to win an X2 Huawei Honor tablet. This promotion will only be valid for a period of three days from the November 11 to November 13,” Chris Sun Baigong, VP of Honor Mena, told ‘Emirates 24|7’.

While the Honor 7 has been available on souq.com since October 18 at a price-tag of Dh1,399, the latest 3-day sale offers Dh259 worth of gifts with it.

Read: Honor 7 Dubai launch: Watch Sketchy Andy bend rules of gravity

The Honor official maintains that even as the Middle East region does not boast of as huge a population as China or India, a high smartphone penetration makes it very interesting for smartphone manufacturers.

“We know that even though the Middle East market is not as flooded with brands as places like China, it has one of the highest mobile phone penetration rates. Last year for example, nine in ten people used a smartphone in the UAE. We also know that on average people in the UAE change their phone every six months. This demonstrates a huge opportunity for Honor to capitalise on a trend that is set to explode,” he said.

In addition, he doesn’t see this region saturated in terms of smartphones brands that are present here, offering an opportunity for relative newcomers like Honor to establish themselves firmly.

“Globally, the smartphone market changes from country to country, for example in China there are nearly 100 smartphone brands for consumers to choose from as it is an incredibly mature market. The buying behaviour differs and the Chinese consumers can be very discerning when choosing smartphone devices, focusing on phone quality and specs, which is why brands such as Honor are experiencing such a huge uplift in sales,” he said.

He expects the same evolution in the region as well.

“We are also seeing that consumers in the Middle East are becoming increasingly discerning, so while this behaviour is evolving we want to encourage them to question what it is that they get from their current smartphones,” he noted.