Footballs flew through the air with gusto at the opening of Adidas' first flagship store in the Middle East. The barrage of balls was used instead of the traditional ribbon-cutting method to open the Adidas store at Deira City Centre.

Displaying a large array of the brand's goods, it is the only store of its kind in the Middle East. Adidas Middle East marketing manager Walter Bruppacher says Dubai has the region's first store because it "is an important location in the Middle East for business, leisure and sport".

At this stage, there are no plans for expansion, says Bruppacher. He says the Dubai store is being used as a "pilot project." Last year, stores were opened in Paris and Amsterdam. But, Bruppacher says Europe's market for sportswear is stronger than the Middle East's.

"The market itself is not as big as it is in Europe because of the weather. That holds people back from doing sports outdoors and the women's market is not too strong." He believes the UAE market is still developing. In the Middle East, Adidas is ranked among the top three brands for sportswear - it follows Nike and Reebok.