Thursday, 30 August 2012

The Quietest Office

Image representing Apple as depicted in CrunchBase
Image via CrunchBase
Apple has an office in the UAE. Operating out of Abu Dhabi media zone TwoFour54, it would appear to be something of a 'best kept secret'.

Where was the fanfare? The dancing girls? The roar of the greasepaint and the smell of the crowds? Companies typically waste no time at all in trumpeting office openings - look at the fuss Facebook and LinkedIn are making.

Tech website itp.net ran a couple of speculative stories on Apple opening a UAE office back in 2010 - one based on channel rumours of an office opening 'this year' and one quoting distributor Arab Business Machines (ABM) on how the opening wouldn't materially affect their business. And that's it. Nothing else. no announcements, no interviews. No Tim Cooks talking about commitment to the Middle East. Silence.

The only reason it came to light at all is that I mentioned on the weekly Unwired radio show yesterday that Apple had famously never opened a point of presence in the Middle East. In all these years, Apple has provided highly capable Arabic language support (it was very early to market with Mac Arabic language support for the burgeoning desktop publishing market, which it dominated in the Middle East) but never actually been here as such. A listener texted in 'not so' and so I asked Twitter.

The result was surprising. Not only did people come out of the woodwork with affirmatives, but one former journalist at The National even pinpointed the office building at TwoFour54 and mentioned that he'd been asked to desist from following up his story. Apple itself doesn't list out any worldwide offices on its website but does identify Apple UAE in its map of training centres.

So there we have it. Apple is actually here on our doorstep. They're just being very, very quiet about it...
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1 comment:

Gerry said...

why would a reporter from the national be told not to follow up?