Dell to Open Middle East's First Customer Briefing Center

10/21/2013 12:00 pm EST

Focus: GLOBAL

Dell is very aware that, even though interest in both desktop and laptop computing has seen a steady decline in the US and other parts of the world, is it still of significant growth in the UAE, writes Triska Hamid of The National.

Dell is to open a customer briefing center in Dubai, the first of such centers throughout the Middle East, Africa, and the emerging markets in Europe, to help drive growth in the region.

Current and potential customers will be invited to the center to test out the company's solutions before making a purchase. Dell recently moved offices in Dubai's Internet City to accommodate the new center, moving from building three to building 15, where it has double the floorspace.

“This is the first of its kind in the region. It highlights the importance that Dell puts on the region as the Middle East as well as broader emerging markets,” said Dave Brooke, the general manager of Dell Middle East. “There is a significant benefit for the customer, it gives them a hands-on experience. Historically, we have taken customers to our European briefing centers, so now we are localizing the service, which is very significant.”

This month US regulators approved Dell's privatization. Founder Michael Dell bought the firm back with investors Silver Lake Partners for US$24.9 billion in a bid to turn the company's fortunes around in the face of a declining PC market.

Despite Dell's global PC shipment growing from 10.5% in the third quarter of 2012 to 11.6% in the third quarter of this year, the overall desktop market has slowed down by 8.6% and is expected to contract by 10% at the end of this year. There is more hope for the Middle East and Africa region, where Dell is pushing for growth.

There will be a soft launch for the center within the next month, but the official launch is scheduled for the beginning of next year.

“It is part of the growth strategy. Dell's strategy both locally and globally is to be the number one end-to-end supplier. We have acquired 24 companies over the past four years to allow us to offer a full range of solutions and we can demonstrate them at the briefing center,” said Mr. Brooke.

Dell is currently present in seven countries in the region, with two more offices set to be opened up next year. The company is also focusing on Iraq as an area of growth.

“The UAE and Saudi Arabia are our largest markets by virtue of their size and dominance, but we also have growth in Qatar, Oman, Kuwait and Iraq,” said Mr. Brooke. “Iraq represents a very significant opportunity in our business. We look after it primarily through our distribution channels and partners, but we also launched the service as Dell, where we warranty products ourselves.”

With regards to public sector customers, most of its engagements are in Qatar, as the government is looking to boost the education, security, and healthcare sectors.

“If you look at government sectors across the Middle East, and their investment portfolios, it talks very closely to our offerings. We are the largest healthcare IT services provider in the world, and education and healthcare building is very important here,” said Mr. Brooke.

Read more from The National here…

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