Harry Potter magic hits Middle East

Harry Potter mania swept the UAE at the weekend as the highly anticipated sixth book in the series, which follows the adventures of the boy wizard, hit bookshelves across the Middle East.

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By  Richard.abbott Published  July 17, 2005

Harry Potter mania swept the UAE at the weekend as the highly anticipated sixth book in the series, which follows the adventures of the boy wizard, hit bookshelves across the Middle East. Bookshops went into marketing overdrive ahead of the launch, with most opening at 3am on Saturday to celebrate the arrival of JK Rowling’s latest offering, Harry Potter and the Half-blood Prince. More than five million copies of the previous book in the series were sold worldwide on its first day of release, so book retailers pulled out all the stops to attract spellbound customers. Magrudy’s placed adverts in the Gulf News and e-mailed its loyalty database to advertise the book’s impending arrival. The company’s branch at Deira City Centre mall in Dubai was due to hold a children’s party at 3am, complete with magicians and face painters. The first 200 people through the door were handed gift vouchers. Other stores to open their doors in the early hours of Saturday morning included Jashanmal Books Gallery and Abu Dhabi Duty Free. At Jashanmal, free copies of the book were given away to the first 100 customers who walked into each of its four stores in the UAE. David Kelly retail manager of Jashanmal Bookstores — Books Gallery, said: “There are many hardcore Potter fans who will queue up in the early hours for the launch. “Our aim was to bring this record-breaking trend into the UAE market by establishing unprecedented standards too. It is the best promotion that any book retailer has offered to our home-based readers.” The film adaptation of the fourth book, Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire, is due for release later this year.

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