A tour of the new BlackBerry Retail Store in Dubai

By James Richardson on 22 Jun 2013 08:29 am EDT
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We told you recently all about the new BlackBerry Store opening in the UAE and with it came the exclusive launch of the BlackBerry Q5.

Clearly for the Crack Team it was a little too far for us to go and cover the opening, but luckily I have a buddy in Dubai who also runs a tech website (Avorahtv) and he visited the Dubai mall and recorded the excellent video you can see above.

From a personal note the store looks pretty awesome to me. Not too cluttered, nicely presented and they sure are having a push on the Q5. We said this before and I'm sure we will say it again but I'm convinced that BlackBerry need to get some of these retail stores into other countries. Who's with me?

Thanks @Emkwan for the footage.

Reader comments

A tour of the new BlackBerry Retail Store in Dubai

104 Comments

Iowa is like a foreign country. Actually Dubai has it better than Iowa. The local cell phone folks don't even try to sell BlackBerry here and US Cellular won't even carry them. I would love a retail BlackBerry store here!

Posted via CB10

There were some special effects throughout the video right? I'm pretty sure I did not take any LSD this morning...

Store looks amazing though! If only they could do something like this around the world. One store in major cities, to at least have some evangelism of the brand.

Totally agree. Hopefully BlackBerry will be getting this done soon. Like before there's an OS 11.

Posted via CB10 from my Z10 or PlayBook!

I would so love a store. I'll be happy with a kiosk in each mall. BlackBerry won't get much traffic but can you imagine when it does gather some faithful? It would be awesome.

Posted via CB10

Sleek and very appealing!
Is that inside a mall?
I would love to see these, at least in most major cities! And not just hidden in airports. Many people frequent airports but many more DON'T.
Beautiful store.

Posted via CB10

Yes it's in one of our Mega Malls " Dubai Mall "

I picked a Q5 up today so now all 3 owned :-)

Z10, Q10 and now a Q5 " Go BlackBerry Go!!! "

Posted via my Z10

They should definitely expand to other countries. But only those that show strong BlackBerry support. It would be sad to see a lot of work go in to a retail store and it's empty most of the time. (which would be the case in somewhere like here in the US probably. )

Posted via CB10 on my naked Z10 ;)

See, I disagree. I think a Company Owned retail presence is EXACTLY what BlackBerry needs in the USA as they ramp up their marketing efforts. If they get some slick marketing going in the USA on the Web and on TV then having a retail store for customers to visit where they would not be steered away from BlackBerry products by biased sales staff would help their cause immensely.

The retail business is a big part of the reason that Apple became big. The genius bar is a great concept that improves customer satisfaction with a product. BlackBerry looked to take that approach to an even more human level with a kind of lounge concept for their tech center which looked fantastic. Even OS 7 devices would see improved customer satisfaction if there was a place for consumers to go to get to know their devices and how to get the most out of them by a BlackBerry certified professional.

I completely agree with you for the most part, but they still would have to be careful which malls they opened in, bigger ones like mall of America would be good.

Posted via CB10

They would probably use their own metrics to decide where to put their fist store(s) in the USA. They would look at BlackBerry usage by regions and target places that already have allot of BlackBerry Users around most likely. Following that, they would probably look at smart phone users in general to see where the highest rates of smart phone users are to target as potential wins.

Then, once they've narrowed down the region(s) they want to target they will collect metrics from potential sites such as accessibility, availability, foot traffic, pricing per square foot etc...

They are surely not going to use stores as a loss leader to get people interested in the brand, they are going to put them where they will likely be profitable. They will pick locations with care.

Good call on the lounge concept. It is the first thing I noticed and my favourite part of the store. I have always found the apple store a little to decentralized and lacking organization but that's just me.

Wow, cool looking vid. I would love to see a dedicated shop in The Netherlands. Although BlackBerry is still going strong here the advertisement was rather small and you had to look for it.

Posted via CB10

They already have offices throughout the USA. They are renting office space, it does not mean they are opening a store in NYC. Though they should definitely open a few there.

They should start by expanding these stores into the UK and then maybe take a try at North America once they have more popularity!

Seriously, awesome store. Would love BlackBerry to expend stores worldwide,or have BlackBerry reps posted in at least one store in every major city in the world to pump up BlackBerry sales and education to the general public. That would be awesome. Many interested person interested in BB product would find out about the location of these reps in their city , which would be ultra helpful to their purchase (which BB phone would be best suited for their needs or wants). Something like that. Lol Anyway it's all cool on BlackBerry 's part in my humble opinion.

Posted via CB10

If i only it was possible to open my own store i would go for it. It's stores like these + good marketing campaign can make a product succesful. The only place its available in Malta is through ebay, carriers don't even get them anymore :( and too bad the Z10 is quite loved around my friends.

Posted via CB10

It does not appear to be available at launch in the UAE. Probably will launch some time shortly after as production of the device ramps up

I would say they need a dozen or so in Canada. The majors of course, like Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Calgary. But also their home town or Waterloo, and companies that see allot of international visitors like Ottawa, Niagara Falls, Halifax etc...

Long term I'd say Canada could easily sustain around 50 BlackBerry Stores.

I agree Canada could certainly support a fair number of stores but there are pros and cons of that model. Flagship stores are often cost centers for retailers given high rents in prestigious hgh traffic areas. Would you rather pay rent and employees to sell products/accessories or have the carriers do it from their extensive networks?

Oh to see this and the phones displayed in a ATT or Verision or TMobile stores. But since they are all in deals with the devil (Apple & Samsung & Google) it will never change, oh and Sprint who!

Only good thing about my Sprint store is the techs that have gone above with my Bold 9930 other than that Sprint is a sinking ship unless they grow a set of Man Balls they are toast.

That looks pretty slick. I can see BlackBerry putting one in in both nyc and London, depending on if they can get the right location.

Posted via CB10

Kiosks in the malls would be cheap and easy. A display case, counter, and a tech/rep. I'm sure if you push one carrier or another you can get some help. At least around the holidays. No excuse.

Posted via CB10

Didn't they have the BlackBerry Lifestyle stores as well? What happened to those? I figured they would be the first store fronts that BlackBerry has used, this would be the first in Dubai. Maybe I'm wrong though?

Posted via CB10

The BlackBerry Lifestyle Stores are not owned by BlackBerry. They are owned by another company and use the BlackBerry name under license.

This is the first store that BlackBerry owns though it is being run by a retail partner in the region.

Great video, I think blackberry needs to open more blackberry retail stores in its strongest markets, like Canada, the UK, and south Africa. Then later after the have announced the A10 smartphone they should open one in New York in Times Square.

Posted via CB10

They definitely need to build a global retail prescience like Apple, Samsung, Microsoft, and Google have or are working on building.

When they roll out in the USA I personally think they should hit that market hard and open multiple stores simultaneously or in very short succession in the top 20 markets or so.

Make a statement to US consumers that BlackBerry is GROWING not dying, and it's the next big thing. Americans love a comeback, they love to support winners and they more then anyone need the support staff and learning centers these stores offer.

I think once they have the new A10 and a tablet BlackBerry will have a more complete hardware ecosystem. If they can get BBM onto desktops then stores would be a great way to show the whole BlackBerry experience. BlackBerry has so much going for it but people don't know.

Posted via CB10

It would be nice to have a BlackBerry store in central London.

I remember the nokia store, on Regent's Street - was great and then the flagship Apple store opened right opposite... needless to say, no more nokia store!

But BlackBerry, especially as a brand or lifestyle store - that would be cool. Perhaps, as said above; when BlackBerry has more diversity in its products (ie A10 and a SLIDER, plus a tablet - though my playbook would like some love too) then a store may be a more tenable proposition.

Posted via CB10 on my BlackBerry Q10

In italy it's all about iPhone and Samsung.As a BlackBerry user i would like to see a BlackBerry store in my town,Parma.

Posted via CB10

Reminds of the airport stores we had here in the USA for a time. Thought they would be better suited to mall locations where BlackBerry is popular. Hope that's the case and we see more of them over time. Best part of these are you get generally good information and the folks there actually know how to use the product and aren't trying to sell you an iPhone ;-).

I would love to see BlackBerry stores in Canada.

Posted via CB10 from my Q10 or my Z10, either way it's golden.

Very long the stock, but still don't want a US store. The firm is innovating and rebuilding, they don't need the heat. I must add though that the more I see of the q5, the more it appeals to me

Posted via CB10

North America Blackberry stores should be partnered with Best Buy but most importantly staffed with Keep Moving BlackBerry Power User that have all all the answers

Posted via CB10

DISAPPOINTING!!!

Just like Apple would have 50 demo units of their new flagship iPad in one store, blackberry store should just focus 100% on their new products only.

It is laughable if a concept store sells old concept.

And where are the featured apps? Just like Apple would feature GarageBand or iPhoto with glorious in-store posters. Blackberry has a lot to learn about marketing and appearing reinvented.

Posted via CB10

Due to data costs the older BlackBerry units in countries are still very popular as they use a lot less data. The new BB10 devices due not use BIS and therefore require 4 times the data plan. BlackBerry actually is doing the right thing by offering different solutions to meet individual demands and financial circumstances.

Posted via CB10

Yes, definitely open Corporate stores. Canada would be great. Apple has shown it can be a huge success. Then get a new playbook out. I need another tablet and would like to buy BlackBerry but I can't wait forever.

Posted via CB10

Looking good. I would live some here in the UK but I worry about what they would sell. I don't really understand why they would sell any OS7 phones or the PlayBook but that would only leave them with 3 devices.

Perhaps once they extend the range a bit we could get some. A few in London and one in Manchester (Trafford Centre) would be a good start.

Posted via CB10

OS 7 devices are still popular in regions where data is expensive. You can get a BIS plan that includes email, BBM and social networking for next to nothing. BlackBerry is doing the right thing by not dropping all support for OS 7. A BlackBerry equivalent of the infamous "Burning Platform" memo that saw Nokia bleed 97% of their smartphone customer base to other platforms losing 150 million potential upgrades in the process would be as stupid for BlackBerry as it was for Nokia.

BlackBerry is showing love for all their customers and that will make the difference for them. BlackBerry needs to keep its installed base and transition as many of them as possible to the new platform while attracting new and returning customers.

Yes if it means getting proper support

Note to BB: Dark theme and OLED screen combo = disaster outside

Every major world city needs a BlackBerry store where people can get the real story and service. Carrier stores doing a poor job for the most part. Too many other phones to sell.

Posted via CB10

Here on Jakarta we already have one, so congratulation dubai for the new shop...go BB go BB...

Posted via Z10 with Axis Indonesia

I think blackberry needs a store in every city. It may be the only place you can go where sales people want to sell you blackberry.

Posted via CB10

We have many BlackBerry exclusive stores here in India...
I bought my Z10 from an exclusive store in Pune, India ... not a big store in terms of size but a great store by ambience.

Posted via the awesome z10 using CB10

Hello everyone,

I am the one standing in the main picture of this topic and this is the photo that i have taken by the Z10 for the new BlackBerry Q5.

http://i.imgur.com/pqppEzn.jpg

The Q5 is almost like the Q10 in shape and the screen resolution is the same , no different in the functioning speed, supporting the LTE Network as well, the battery capacity is 2100mA but not changeable, the camera is 5M with auto focus and the phone is very light in wight.

The price is 405$ , unlocked network and it comes in four colors (black, red, pink and white)

Pretty cheap for an LTE device...

Posted via CB10

Bravo! Great move BlackBerry! I hate going to stores that don't even know a thing about troubleshooting a BB phone. Next stop, UK, Saudi Arabia, India, Philippines, South Africa, and those country that truly supports your brand.

BlackBerry should continue this retail style chain in other countries, especially in North America.
Go BB10 Go.

Why here, in Brasil, te BlackBerry doesn't makee thee same????

Because the company its the a Mother fucker.. ali the company how Chen and all directors... unhappness, the BlackBerry Dont see the future