Apple UAE office ‘no threat’ to ABM

Official Apple distributor expects vendor’s local presence to enhance relationship, not harm it

Tags: Arab Business MachineUnited Arab Emirates
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Apple UAE office ‘no threat’ to ABM Apple is understood to have formed its initial Middle East team and is likely to officially open its UAE office in the coming weeks. (Getty Images)
By  Andrew Seymour Published  November 22, 2010

Arab Business Machine (ABM) has commented publicly for the first time on the prospect of Apple opening an office in the Middle East, insisting the move would not undermine its role as the sole distribution representative for Apple products in the region.

The much-anticipated opening of Apple's UAE office in Abu Dhabi - its first attempt at establishing a local presence in the Middle East - is thought to be a matter of weeks away, fuelling market speculation over the impact it could have on its alliance with ABM.

However, the distributor is adamant that any changes to the pair's working relationship as a result of Apple's added focus on the region will only be for the better.

"I don't think there is going to be changes - on the contrary, it is going to accelerate things and make the relationship stronger," said Peter Kwisthout, corporate development and group marketing officer at the Midis Group, which owns ABM. "When a vendor opens an office in a region like the Middle East it usually means they recognise an opportunity for growth potential or an existing market that they want to take to the next stage. That is what I think Apple is doing here."

ABM has been the official distributor for Apple in the Middle East for almost two decades.

Asked if Apple's decision to open an office here would lead to less business for ABM and whether the vendor was likely to want to take any sales direct, Kwisthout responded: "No, I don't think so, because if you look at the market it is growing tremendously in the Apple space. I think Apple's success in the Middle East will keep growing, probably outpacing a lot of other competitors. And with us working with Apple for so long and seeing that market growth, even if you have other partners coming into the equation I think the cake is big enough for everyone."

In addition to ABM, Midis Group has interests in a number of Apple-related distribution businesses, including MCI in Africa and Abcom in Eastern Europe.

It also operates in excess of 30 Apple-based 'iStyle' retail outlets and plans to expand this network further, according to Kwisthout.

2580 days ago
LDL

Having an UAE Apple office would be a real advantage. All too often we are urged to buy the latest products but there is no satisfaction if there is a problem. I purchased an IPod Classic for my husband as a Christmas present 2 years ago, 6 months ago the battery failed to charge. We took it back to Virgin who sent it to their workshop. They told us we could pay 700 Dhms they would keep our classic and we would get a new one, the new is priced at 999 Dhms. End result is that we paid a lot of money for something that only lasted 18 months. We email Apple HQ and they didn't even bother to reply.

2580 days ago
Andy

Apple products are only as good as the personal selling it, I am a good example, I bought my MacBook pro 2 years back, and used Windows on it until 3 months ago a found a very good sales guy in Ibn Battuta mall Apple Store, who was patient and very knowledgeable on the product and slowly helped me to get around the initial hurdles as a new user.

So, your article gives hope that the setup will provide more personnel like the man I met, today I am a happy apple user and all my family has Mac books now.

Andy

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