BlackBerry PlayBook previewed in Dubai, coming to UAE on June 12th

By Yousif Abdullah on 31 May 2011 07:55 am EDT

At a special preview in Dubai, the BlackBerry PlayBook was the center of attraction among special guests. While excitement at the VIP event was high, so were the expectations of the guests - the BlackBerry PlayBook seemed premature to some. Not content with the performance of RIM's tablet, one guest noted that "They [RIM] should have waited until the PlayBook had everything loyal BlackBerry mobile users want and need." Although I agree to some extent, it is quite funny and ironic that RIM had banners set up with the text "Yeah, you should have waited."

All negativity aside, the BlackBerry PlayBook did deliver on many aspects such as robust hardware and snappy software - as can be seen in the video above. Sandeep Saighal, Managing Director for the Middle East at RIM, made an appearance at the event, reminding everyone that the BlackBerry PlayBook is "going to change the way you do business… this is just a small teaser, the best is yet to come." As far as launch date, it has been confirmed that EMS will distribute the BlackBerry PlayBook through select retail outlets from June 12th. Babar Khan, CEO of EMS, is not only excited, but expects RIM's tablet to shake up the Emirati market: "After experiencing a successful launch in North America we look to continue this within our region, where smartphone penetration is very high. With features such as seamless integration with a BlackBerry smartphone, Docs To Go for document editing and HDMI output, we expect the BlackBerry PlayBook to become an essential tool for this region's businesses."

What do you think? Personally, I believe that most of what has been said in the video is true, but I already knew about the limitations of the BlackBerry PlayBook in its current form. And, as said in the video, functionality can be expanded through software updates, which is an important feature in my opinion. I think the BlackBerry PlayBook is a great tablet in its own right, especially the Web browser.

What concerns me, however, is that the BlackBerry PlayBook is heading to the Middle East without being ready for it - Arabic input is lacking, as is the support for certain Unicode languages in general. Case in point, Word to Go can't even handle Arabic documents properly. But then again, this is all software we are talking about. Here's hoping that a software update with support for Unicode languages is on its way, lest RIM be ruining their opportunities in the Middle East - a big market for them.

Source: Gulf News; via: Zawya

Reader comments

BlackBerry PlayBook previewed in Dubai, coming to UAE on June 12th


yeah i saw Axioms telecom advertising it.. asked the guys how much it will be and they said 2,100 AED ($570 USD) for the 16GB version, so in a nut shell, i'm happy i bought mine from the US.. just hope the damn update would come out already!

Well I guess this is more conformation that not all reports of delays are correct. It was just yesterday we saw on the CB forums someone post that a media outlet stated the Dubai launch had been delayed until the end of June. Just more conformation that you can't believe everything you read about RIM right now!! Lets get that update out and blow their minds!!

Email App and BBM is scheduled to be launched on July 4, 2011, (give or take a day)

Mark this day on your calendar !!

Well I live in dubai... and yes i have a playbook (yipeeeeee)..... and i hope the darn update comes soon. but when it releases here if it does not have Arabic support will it make a diffrence???.. to the general public i dont think so but yes it would be an added incentive to go for it. One thing that annoys me here is that though app world is available here there are quite a few apps which are just not supported here .... they dont show up on the app world at all.... that just sucks..... Need a lot more apps though .... but i am pretty sure we ll get there. GO RIM GOOOOOOO...

We will get you more.
Just hang tight, and pass the good word about the PlayBook around.
Remember, it's Canadian, and Canadian people do no wrong !!

It has been in the market for a quite long time now , days after US launch or atleast a week.
(in Kuwait and many gulf countries)

the price here is about $520 for 16GB

tried it , it was good but the camera is slow , you have to wait after you take a shot or the image will just be ruined.

I heard no Arabic support , which will make it useless for now.

but the best thing is the Size of the playbook , its great ! i have an iPad and I feel like its too big to move around everywhere

sometimes i prefer taking my laptop instead of taking the ipad

Hey Vavisha,
If users are going to miss email and bbm on this device, you're assuming that they are blackberry users, and therefore NOT going to miss email and bbm while using this device... so... yeah.