Apple stores to retain 100% ownership in UAE
A file photo of an Apple store in Beijing, China.
Dubai - Khaleej Times tried to get in touch with the Dubai office of Apple but did not get a response.
Apple Inc will open its first store in the Middle East on September 28 in Mall of Emirates with 100 per cent ownership.
The Cupertino-based company will be allowed to retain 100 per cent control of operations in the UAE, Bloomberg reported on Wednesday by citing two people familiar with the matter.
The dispensation was a condition for the world's largest listed company to set up in the UAE, the people said, asking not to be identified as the plans are private.
Khaleej Times tried to get in touch with the Dubai office of Apple but did not get a response.
"Apple was licensed in the UAE through the Ministry of Economy according to the requirements of, and in compliance with the Commercial Companies Law, as well as the ministerial resolution on foreign company branches," Ahmad Al Hosani, director of trade registration at the Ministry of Economy, said in an e-mailed statement.
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Earlier this year, Apple opened its regional headquarters in Emaar Square in Dubai.
In March this year, the company advertised several positions in the UAE for sales, marketing and retail with job titles such as 'Expert' and 'Genius'.
All Apple Stores feature a Genius Bar, where customers can receive technical advice or set-up service and repair for their products.
In 2011, the company launched the Apple Online Store UAE that offers a range of products, such as iPhones, iPads, iPods and MacBooks.
Apple products are already being sold by its authorised resellers at around 100 locations across Dubai, including all terminals at Dubai International airport.
Also, read: Dubai to have world's biggest and UAE's first Apple store very soon
This statement neither denies nor confirms about the store's opening. The first media report on the subject appeared a couple of months ago.
All businesses operating in the UAE must be 51 per cent owned by Emiratis or a company wholly owned by them unless they are based in free-zones.
Earlier this year, Minister of Economy Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansoori said that the government is working on a new foreign investment law that would allow 100 per cent foreign ownership in some industries.
Abu Dhabi's newly opened Yas Mall is likely to host the second Apple store in the UAE may be next year, sources told this scribe. The space has been taken in the mall, they added.
Etisalat and du are the authorised distributors of iPhones in the UAE but a couple of key retailers buy smartphones directly from Apple.