Apple boosts Middle East presence with key openings

Apple has expanded its retail presence in the Middle East in conjunction with its independent regional marketing partner, Arab Business Machines, with the opening of new Apple Centre outlets in Egypt, the UAE and Kuwait.

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By  Aaron Greenwood Published  June 13, 2006

Apple has expanded its retail presence in the Middle East in conjunction with its independent regional marketing partner, Arab Business Machines, with the opening of new Apple Centre outlets in Egypt, the UAE and Kuwait. The new UAE store, located in Abu Dhabi, is the second Apple Centre outlet to open in the country this year. Arabian Business Machines established the country’s first Apple Centre outlet in Dubai’s Ibn Battuta Mall in January. The new Abu Dhabi store features the entire Apple product portfolio of hardware and software, organised into specific zones for movies, photos, music and kid’s applications. “Arabian Business Machines is proud to finally announce that we are opening a store in the nation’s capital,” said Elias Abou Rustom, the company’s general manager. “It was inevitable that Abu Dhabi would get its own Apple Centre and in much the same fashion as our Dubai retail outlet, [the Abu Dhabi store] will be unique in terms of the quality of customer service, extensive product offering and general store ambience.” Since the start of 2006, Arabian Business Machines has released a slew of new Apple products in the Middle East including the Mac Mini and iPod hi-fi. The Egyptian retail outlet, located in Cairo, is the country’s first Apple Centre, and is operated by local personal computer retailer and repairer BestBuy under license from Arabian Business Machines. According to BestBuy managing director Moamen Safa the store is modelled closely on Apple’s American-based flagship outlets. Meanwhile, the new Kuwait store, which is located in the Marina Mall and is operated by Apple reseller Kamal Al Sultan, is the country’s third Apple Centre and is claimed to be the largest in the Middle East. In addition to offering the full range of Apple products, sales staff at the Marina Mall outlet will provide training courses to customers looking to buy an Apple computer or peripheral item. The Kuwait store is also one of the few in the region that provides servicing and repairs for Apple’s popular iPod MP3 player through its Mac Care Service division. Kuwait has proved one of Apple’s biggest markets in the Middle East, where it enjoys roughly around 35% of the consumer market for personal computers.

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