Amazon might still be avoiding the region, but Kobo isn't so squeamish. This Toronto-based ebook startup has inked a deal this week with to distribute Kobo ereaders to retail and online stores in Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE.
Readers will soon be able to find the Kobo Touch, Aura, and Aura H2O in 34 local stores, including Xcite, Virgin Megastores, and Dubai Duty Free Stores. Kobo reports that the hardware will also be available for purchase online at Modvito, Souq.com, and Jado Pado.
"Digital reading continues to rise across the globe and we’re thrilled to be entering G.C.C. countries to offer readers with best in class E Ink eReaders and eBookstore," said Jean-Marc Dupuis, Managing Director of EMEA, Kobo.
Kobo's competitors in the region include local ebookstores like Kotobi.com, but not any of the major ebookstores. Neither Kindle nor Google Play Books are available in the region, and while Apple does sell hardware in the Middle east they don't sell ebooks (source).
image by Leandro's World Tour