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Otherworldly computer company eyes up Dubai market

Two senior executives from American gaming hardware vendor Alienware are in Dubai this week to explore the possibility of bringing the company's high-performance desktop and laptop computers to the region.

Two senior executives from Dell-owned American gaming hardware vendor Alienware are in Dubai this week to explore the possibility of bringing the company's high-performance desktop and laptop computers to the region.

Frank Azor and John G. Crivelli have spent the past five days attempting to get a feel for the emirates' PC gaming community and assessing what market there might be for their organisations’ uniquely-styled rigs.

"Obviously the Middle East is a high growth area," the firm's vice president of corporate development, Crivelli, told Windows Middle East yesterday. "We see that there's also, in addition to high growth, a higher worth component to the market and we like to play in that space as our computers tend to be a little more expensive than those you typically see on the market. We feel like there's just an opportunity here in Dubai that we want to get into as fast as we can. Dubai is really number one on our list right now for our expansion."

According to Crivellli’s colleague, Azor, who is general manager and senior vice president of Alienware’s worldwide product group, the company has only recently become aware of the lust for gaming here in the Middle East.

"We didn't know the gaming industry here was actually well defined," Azor explained. "With that knowledge, it felt a natural fit for our products to be here. We cater to that demographic and those customers. We also see that there's a real opportunity for our products here to be successful. There aren't very many turnkey gaming solutions that are on the market in Dubai, so we see that as an excellent opportunity for customers to benefit from our products, from the innovation that we're driving already in Europe and the States."

"A lot of what we're doing on this (first) trip is exploring and understanding the market," Azor added. "How many gamers are there out there? Is it in fact a well defined market? Are people interested in Alienware products and the Alienware brand? Do we bring value to the customer base and would they see our solutions as a compelling product?”

Although both Azor and Crivelli are keen to point out that no official decision on any Alienware move into this market has been made yet, they have spent the past five days visiting potential retail sites and learning how technology consumers in Dubai like to buy their goods.

"We've been trying to absorb as much as possible about the marketplace. That involves visiting the different outlets for PCs, where we think our products would be best suited, trying to understand the city itself and how people shop and spend their time, and what are the reputable means of getting your message, your product and your brand in front of people - that kind of stuff,” " explained Azor. “There are lots of similarities to the US and Europe, but there are also differences. We want to make sure that when we do things, we do them right."

Azor claims Alienware's customer proposition is about much more than just the product itself (be this piece of kit a luminous green desktop PC or a dual-core SLI notebook), and equally about the overall Alienware 'experience.

"Looking forward, what we're looking to do is look at the Dubai market and the customer. How do we get them the product in the easiest fashion and how do we support them properly - this is a critical element to the product, because we try to bring an entire experience to the customer," Azor stated. "From their purchase of the product to when they open the box, to ensuring that they're supported properly, those are things right now that, because we're not focusing on this market specifically, customers aren't benefitting from. European import customers are getting an average experience versus the total Alienware experience. We're not just looking to sell our products here, but to bring the whole experience."

As far as any possible launch timeline for Alienware here is concerned, Azor and Crivelli again stipulated that no decision had yet been made, however Azor did then go on to suggest a relatively short gestation period.

"Right now, it is premature because we've not decided yet, but Alienware does move pretty quickly, so you could probably expect that whatever we do decide would probably begin taking shape within the next two to three months," he commented.

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