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iPhone 5, Samsung SIII and Etisalat among top technology stories

Look Back 2012  Throughout this year, it was the technology-related stories that most caught our readers' attention online at www.thenational.ae/business. In no particular order, here are the top 10 for this year.

A regional Google manager in September said that 52 per cent of UAE residents use the internet to research financial products such as loans and credit cards. Kimihiro Hoshino / AFP
A regional Google manager in September said that 52 per cent of UAE residents use the internet to research financial products such as loans and credit cards. Kimihiro Hoshino / AFP

Throughout this year, it was the technology-related stories that most caught our readers' attention online at www.thenational.ae/business. Imax, Apple and Etisalat featured in the news you paid the most attention to, written by our talented team including Ben Flanagan and Gillian Duncan. In no particular order, here are the top 10 for this year.

 

1. UAE iPhone 5 fans warned: going grey will make you blue

Retailers warned excited shoppers to "be careful" if they were considering buying the new iPhone 5 on the grey market.

"There are going to be three different versions of the iPhone coming in three different frequencies," said Ashish Panjabi, the chief operating officer at Jacky's Electronics. "Not all the frequencies work in the UAE."

* by Rory Jones - September 13, 2012

 

2. Google searches out a Web trend in UAE

An interview with Mohamad Mourad, the Google regional manager for the Arabian Gulf, highlighted that 52 per cent of UAE residents use the internet to research financial products such as loans and credit cards.

"In finance specifically, the banks usually try multiple channels to reach out to the customers. Fifty-two per cent of the respondents used search to research finance products. [Search] is 10 times more effective than email, and 10 times more effective than social networking sites as well," Mr Mourad told The National.

* by Ben Flanagan - February 23, 2012

 

3. Etisalat and du offer deals on Samsung's 'iPhone killer' Galaxy SIII

Samsung agreed deals with Etisalat and du to offer its Galaxy SIII handset - dubbed the "iPhone killer" - at discounted rates. Retailers across the UAE reported that the SIII had already sold out, and Samsung acknowledged it would be unable to meet initial demand for the device.

"We are going to be facing a tight supply to our region until the end of the month … It's not only in the UAE, it's in other countries in the region, and even in Europe," said Ashraf Fawakherji, the general manager of the telecoms group at Samsung Gulf Electronics.

* by Ben Flanagan - June 6, 2012

 

4. Fake Primark store in Dubai rattles UK retailer

A fake Primark store opened in Bur Dubai on Bank Street, selling goods under the Primark label and masquerading as the budget brand from the United Kingdom. Primark denied opening a store in the UAE and sent a statement to The National explaining it was seeking legal action against the company running the fake store.

"We are aware that there is a store in Dubai that purports to be part of our group," the UK retailer said. "Primark does not operate any stores there and this is not, therefore, a legitimate Primark store. The company is considering its legal options as a matter of urgency."

* by Rory Jones - April 25, 2012

 

5. Billionaire owner of India's Dish TV targets illegal use in the Emirates

The billionaire owner of India's Dish TV satellite network vowed to crack down on the illegal reception of its channels in the UAE.

Subhash Chandra, pictured above, the chairman of Dish TV's parent company Essel Group, said he was looking to work with the UAE authorities to stop residents tuning in illegally.

Thousands of people in the Arabian Gulf receive unlicensed satellite feeds from Dish TV, costing regional broadcasters millions of dollars a year in lost revenue, analysts said.

* by Ben Flanagan - September 17, 2012

 

6. Spectacular revamp for Dubai's JBR Walk

An expansive retail, leisure and entertainment centre is being built as the centrepiece of Jumeirah Beach Residence (JBR), a development of 40 towers running along the Dubai seafront. In a move that will completely change the face of JBR Walk, one of Dubai's most popular leisure attractions and walkways, Meraas Holding plans to construct a mall of shops and restaurants that will run for nearly a kilometre along the beach from The Hilton Hotel at one end to the Sheraton Hotel at the other.

"The project involves the creation of an integrated retail and leisure area with underground parking facilities meant to upgrade and develop the beachside area, in front of Rimal and Amwaj sectors," said a spokesman at Dubai Properties Group, the owner of JBR.

* by Rory Jones - August 24, 2012

 

7. Best companies to work for in the UAE revealed

It may not hand out free M&M's or offer foosball, but the workplace culture of FedEx Express has been clearly appreciated by staff.

The courier company topped a list of the best organisations to work for in the second annual survey by the Great Place to Work Institute UAE.

This year's list was dominated by multinational organisations and included brands such as Microsoft, Marriott and PepsiCo. But a couple of home-grown companies also made the cut, including the jobs website Bayt.com.

FedEx climbed one position from last year to knock Microsoft off the top spot.

* by Gillian Duncan - February 9, 2012

 

8. Stall if you are about to buy a car in UAE

Motorists looking to buy a sparkling new car or trade in a banged-up lemon were advised to hold off signing for a vehicle until a glut of summer offers had been launched. During Dubai Summer Surprises (DSS), Ramadan and Eid, car dealerships across the country began offering special deals as they tried to offload stock and entice customers.

"We are now in discount season because dealers will begin a clear-out," said Bill Carter, an analyst at Autodata Middle East, an independent car-research company.

"The people … will be searching for bargains," said Mr Carter. "It [is] a good time to change vehicle."

* by Rory Jones - 14 June, 2012

 

9. Etisalat cuts internet prices

Etisalat reduced its broadband charges and said further price cuts were to come to mark a new era of competition with its rival du.

The operator said it had cut the price of its basic broadband package in the UAE and was studying a reduction of landline calling rates by 10 to 30 per cent.

Rashid Majid Al Abbar, the vice president of home products marketing for Etisalat, said the move by Etisalat was part of a plan to entice customers to use faster internet connections.

"That is the long-term strategy," he said. "We want to have more high-speed customers."

* by Ben Flanagan - May 20, 2012

 

10. Imax theatre opening at Meydan Racecourse

A seven-storey cinema screen opened at the Meydan Racecourse in Dubai, showing blockbuster movies alongside the traditional horse racing.

The 29 metre wide by 22 metre high Imax cinema screen was scheduled to open to the public at the end of June.

"People who have seen it have come out thinking it's great," said Goulam-Raza Amarsy, the managing director of Primesco, which is operating the theatre.

"We want to be a destination and will attract tourists," said Mr Amarsy.

* by Rory Jones - May 30, 2012

 

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