Khaled rambles technology, tea/coffee, consumer rights and other interest from Saudi Arabia

March 28, 2012

جوعان و كسلان؟ إطلب بيتزا بـ “كبسة” زر – Hungry and Lazy? Press button to order Pizza

Filed under: Videos — Tags: , , , , , , , — Khaled A. @ 7:57 pm

من مطعم Red Tomato Pizza في دبي. جهاز بلوتوث صغير بضغطة زر يقوم بطلب بيتزا من الشركة و توصيلها إليك. الجهاز يستخدم البلوتوث عبر جوالك و طبعاً لا بد أن تحدد “طلبك المفضل” مسبقاً. الفيديو التالي يوضحها:

From Red Tomato Pizza in Dubai: “VIP” (Very Important Pizza). A bluetooth fridge magnet. Just press a button and a pizza delivery order will be made. Assuming you predefine your favorite order. Lazy? Brilliant? who knows and who cares. Here’s a video.

April 18, 2010

UAE suspend Lexus GX 460 sales, what about the Saudi distributor?

Filed under: News — Tags: , , , , — Khaled A. @ 8:28 pm

Apparently there is an issue with the Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) in the 2010 Lexus GX 460. The distributor of Lexus and Toyota in the UAE, Al Futtaim Motors has suspended sales of this SUV and are contacting all of their customers. As reported by Arabian Business.

The Lexus distributor in Saudi Arabia, Abdul Latif Jameel Co, hasn’t announced or did anything regarding these issues with the car until now.

What consumer rights? Why am I not surprised.

October 24, 2009

iPhone 3GS by Etisalat October 27th

Filed under: News — Tags: , , — Khaled A. @ 3:53 pm

UAE’s Etisalat has posted on their website that the iPhone 3GS will be released on October 27th. This confirms what I said earlier that the iPhone 3GS by Mobily will be released on the same day.

iphone-3gs-etisalat

Follow SaudiMac (English) and (Arabic) sites for more updates.

تابعوا آخر التحديثات من موقع سعودي ماك.

May 31, 2009

Crazy retail mark-ups in the UAE

Filed under: General — Tags: , , , — Khaled A. @ 3:06 pm

Armina Ligaya over at the The National have written a great story on the crazy retail markups in the UAE. I decided to check it out since the Saudi Arabian and the United Arab Emirates markets are similar in many ways.

Most of the brands in Saudi Arabia are available through the UAE. For example, Apple in Saudi Arabia is distributed by Arab Computers who is a representative of Arab Business Machines in the UAE. So our two markets are similar in many ways.

An investigation by The National shows that local outlets for some of the world’s best-known shopping chains are marking up prices by 70 per cent or more. The evidence is hanging from the items themselves: the original price in the currency of origin and the local cost. Among the worst examples were a pair of girl’s jeans with a 78 per cent mark up, a photo frame with a 70 per cent mark up and a birthday card that was more than twice the original cost. Naeem Ghafoor, the chief executive of Skyline Retail Services consultancy in Dubai, said while import charges might be seen as an added expense, retailers in the UAE are exempt from the taxes applied in many parts of Europe and North America and enjoy lower labour costs.

Now this is an important fact, we have no taxes and that should understandably reduce the price instead.

“There’s no problem with charging more money, but it’s how much more you charge,” he said. “In my opinion, prices that are 10 to 15 per cent more expensive are acceptable. If you are over that you are ripping off the public.”

I can find a brand new Nokia N97 in the US for only 2,400SR while in Saudi Arabia it will be sold for 3,400SR.

Because the dirham is pegged to the US dollar, the exchange rates between the two currencies are stable. Yet, a Hallmark family photo album tagged at $20 (Dh73.40) for US consumers was sold at Gulf Greetings in Dubai for Dh125, a 70 per cent markup.

Being tied to the US$ didn’t help at all. This is an interesting article and I hoped that it would talk about technology as well as cloths and furniture.

I have talked about price gouging (or should I just call it “high mark-up”?) in Saudi Arabia (using Nokia E75/N97 as examples). You can read The National’s report on their site. You can also check their interactive price guide.

March 13, 2009

Google Map Maker still lacks Saudi Arabia, UAE

Filed under: General — Tags: , , , — Khaled A. @ 11:47 pm

Google map maker has increased their list of supported countries to 164. Which includes Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman and Qatar but for some unknown reason is still missing Saudi Arabia and UAE.

Unfortunately we have to wait even more and we know how slow google is to update their google mobile maps. The data on google maps mobile is is different than the regular desktop google maps. The iPhone 3G GPS function is useless in Saudi Arabia since you can’t install your own maps or use Google maps’ data. You can’t even use any form of navigation or driving directions for Saudi Arabia maps in google maps.

Saudis mainly use WikiMapia to add data on google maps at the moment. Google needs to listen to it’s users. We are still waiting, google.

February 2, 2009

Official iPhone 3G in Saudi Arabia and UAE

Filed under: News — Tags: , , , , , — Khaled A. @ 12:01 pm

Etisalat in UAE/Mobily in Saudi Arabia announced that they will release the iPhone 3G by the end of February 2008.

No news about Arabic support though.

November 20, 2006

Gitex Dubai 2006 News

Filed under: News — Tags: , — Khaled A. @ 11:13 am

I wasn’t lucky to go to Dubai this year for Gitex, so I will post some news I found online:

April 27, 2006

Its official, Gitex 2006 sucked!

Filed under: News — Tags: , — Khaled A. @ 8:21 pm

I am really disappointed by this. Saudi Arabia is a major computer market and yet no one is doing any effort to “impress” us.

A message to the organizers, don’t call next year’s exhibition gitex, call it Mobile and Laptop Sale Show or something!

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