1) Can you tell us a bit about yourself, your educational and work background?
We are a handful of Apple enthusiasts, living in the UAE. We are a mix
of nationals and expats, who share a common passion for Apple, Macs,
and iPods. We work in different fields including marketing, education,
and IT, and we are all college-educated.
2) What inspired you to start EmiratesMac.com ?
We have been very frustrated with the information available about
Apple products, service, support, prices, etc. For people already
living here or for those moving here, it’s hard if not impossible to
find information online. And if you start calling companies who
supposedly sell these products, it’s not much better. We wanted to
build a place online where anyone interested in Apple, Mac, and iPod
in the UAE can find information and meet like-minded users.
3) How has the response to the website been so far?
The site was first launched in October 2005 and we moved to our domain
(www.emiratesmac.com) early 2006. Since then we have also switched
publishing system so that we can offer more features to our visitors.
The response has been very positive and we see growth of about one new
user per day. In April we had around 100000 hits, which we obviously
are very happy with for being up and running for such a short time.
4) What are your future plans for the website?
Oh, there are so many. We are trying to form partnerships with local
companies that sell these products to organize events where products
are introduced, visitors are educated, etc. We will continue to
publish about news and how Apple, Mac, and iPod has been covered in
the news, because that’s what got us started. We recently introduced a
feature on the site we call Pricewatch, which attempts to keep track
of prices on a range of products and where you can buy them. This
service depends on visitors emailing us the prices and products they
find and we’re going to try to expand this and to some extent automate
it so we can go from a user finding a price to having it published in
a shorter period of time. We also have some other services in the
pipeline for involving users more in the activities on the site.
5) Any interesting tid-bits and happenings you can share from the site?
We have learned a lot in a short period of time about how to put
together, publish, and run web sites. Probably the most interesting
tid-bit is that even thought Apple IMC Middle East is the official
Apple-presence in the UAE, we come up higher in Google for pretty much
any relevant search you can do. That feels pretty good.
6) What are your other interests and hobbies?
Since it’s a group of us running the site there are obviously a range
of interests, but mainly we spend too much time in front of computers.
We do enjoy outdoor activities when the weather permits, such as
camping, and generally spending time with family and friends.
7) What are your favourite books, music, movies, celebrities and
Favourite Book : “Cult of Mac” by Leander Kahney
Favourite Music : Anything we could buy at Apple’s iTunes Music
Store if we could actually buy from there in the UAE.
Movies : “Pirates of Silicon Valley”, about the start of Apple and
Microsoft and the early days of personal computers.
Celebrities: Steve Jobs (co-founder and CEO of Apple).
Inspiring Personalities : Well, we’d have to go with Steve Jobs again.
8) What is your motto or philosophy of life that you would like to
share with our readers?
My favourite quote by which i live my life: “The journey is the
reward”, title of a book about Steve Jobs.