UAE fans remember Jobs as the 'guy who made design cool'

Early Apples make an appearance in vigil at The Shelter in Dubai

Photographs of Steve Jobs were on display last night at The Shelter in Dubai.
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DUBAI // Mac enthusiasts gathered at The Shelter last night to pay tribute to Steve Jobs.

Photos of Mr Jobs and the Apple products he created hung on walls of the lounge, where some of Dubai's creative and entrepreneurial community gather, as Mac enthusiasts began to arrive at 6pm.

The Shelter's Emirati founder, Rashid bin Habib, 28, said he had received requests from members of the community to hold the tribute.

"Apple has influenced a lot of our lives in one way or another," Mr bin Habib said. "Jobs was a commemorative figure and we thought of showcasing this unique individual.

"This is a casual get-together more than it is an event. We are paying homage to an individual who has changed the quality of our lives."

PK Gulati, a technology enthusiast and start-up mentor, said Mr Jobs was the "poster boy of entrepreneurship".

"Everybody has been touched by this guy," Mr Gulati said. "He's the guy who made design cool. He was born out of wedlock, put up for adoption, didn't have a degree but built the largest technology company in the world.

"His success is a management case study. People forget that he's a businessman. He's done enormous stuff in 56 years."

Jimmy Grewal, 34, the general manager of the technology system integration company Elcome, brought with him three classic Apple computers, including the first-generation iMac and an Apple II, which his father gave him when he was five years old.

As Macgeeks and techies gathered around the computers, Mr Grewal, from India, said he had met Mr Jobs three times.

"Even if you expect that something is going to happen, it doesn't change the sadness, shock or surprise," he said. "We are here trying to celebrate what he has accomplished. I met him three times; twice while I was working for Microsoft's Mac division and once in San Francisco at the Apple Developer Conference. "His products had a tremendous effect on my life. In 1982 my father gave me an Apple II when I was just starting kindergarten in Dubai and I have used nothing but Apple products since."

The editor of MacWorld Middle East magazine, Magnus Nystedt, 39, from Sweden, was also at The Shelter. Mr Nystedt sat working on his Macbook Air laptop.

"I'm shocked but not surprised that he passed away," he said.