Posted by: englishdubai | August 7, 2006

Shiny and New

Prior to coming to Dubai I was quite a hardcore PC gamer – but with the hectic build up to moving and the subsequent hassles of setting up in a new country has left little time for games – PC or otherwise. The bug has bitten me again as I settle in and I wanted to have a dabble at a few of the newer titles and having brought and played them I was not overly impressed that my “state of the art” system seemed to a little bit of a laggard in its performance.

Marketing people would classify me in the “early adopter” category. Often on the bleeding edge of technology. In search of said technology I went shopping in Dubai for the latest in graphics card technology.

I was not really surprised when my first options in Mall of the Emirates and IBN Buttuta yielded only a small and expensive collection of older cards which did not fit the bill. A quick trip back to the apartment and 20 minutes on google gave me the answer – Computer Plaza in Bur Dubai.

Problem 1 – how in the name of all that is technical do I get there? Without Sat Nav I am a little out of my depth so I decided on the fallback plan of looking at the Dubai Street Explorer. The journey while a little longer than expected and with only two additional u-turns I found myself parked outside the neon of Computer Plaza.

I have been to a couple of places like this in Hong Kong and KL – the difference in Dubai is that there are not loads of people pressing pirated DVDs and software onto you. Computer Plaza consists of twenty(?) or so small independent PC resellers. Needless to say I was delighted and spent a little while window shopping until I found a chap with the largest selection of graphics cards. The conversation went like this:

Aaron “I would like an ATI X1900XTX please – do you have one how much is it?”
Clerk “X1900XT – yes sir – I can get”
Aaron “no an X1900XTX”
Clerk “Certainly Sir – I get for you now”
Pause – while a conversation on a phone happens in an unknown dialect
Clerk “Please have a seat – we get now”

Wait for five minutes – not a problem as the shop is like an Aladdin’s cave full of cheap chinese PC peripherals. Sure enough the young lad sent to fetch the card came back with one reading “X1900XT”

Aaron “This is not correct. I am looking for the X1900XTX”
Clerk “Certainly Sir – I get for you now”
Pause – while another conversation on a phone happens in an unknown dialect
Clerk “Please have a seat – we get now”

Sure enough and after another five minute wait – the young lad returns with the card proudly proclaiming to be the “X1900XTX”

I was rather pleased to see this and after a brief bit of haggling I walked out the shop having paid slightly less than the best UK Internet “pre-VAT” price I could find. It is now safely installed in my PC and working like a charm.

My lesson for the day was – in Dubai if you perseverve just a little you can ultimately be rewarded with just what you want….driving home however was a little different – the highlight of which was some guy tailgating an ambulance though heavy traffic so he could get to where he was going just a little bit quicker.


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