Dubai to have worlds biggest and UAE first Apple store very soon

The store at Mall of the Emirates is under construction and it is expected to open doors to Apple fans in August 2015.

By Abdul Basit/chief Reporter

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Published: Mon 18 May 2015, 1:17 AM

Last updated: Thu 8 Dec 2022, 4:29 PM

Apple’s first store in the Middle East will be located at Mall of the Emirates and it will be the world’s largest retail store of the iPhone maker, sources have confirmed to Khaleej Times.

The store is under construction and it is expected to open doors to Apple fans in August 2015. The estimated 50,000-sq foot store is close to the new Fashion District in the mall with the main entrance most probably from level 2.

Abu Dhabi’s newly opened Yas Mall is likely to host the second Apple store in the UAE.

Apple’s Dubai office did not respond to Khaleej Times queries regarding the store location and its opening date, but a spokesperson for the Mall of the Emirates owner said: “As a company policy, Majid Al Futtaim does not comment on speculation or unverified stories with regards to new store openings in our shopping malls.”

On the other hand, the mall has mentioned on its website that 30 new stores are set to open, including several first-to-the region brands, and named half of them on the website. The mall is expected to complete the work on a multi-stage redevelopment project called ‘Evolution 2015’ by October this year worth Dh1 billion.

Earlier this year, Apple opened its regional headquarters in Emaar Square in Dubai. Two months ago, 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 the UAE, the iPhone is ranked second after Samsung in terms of unit sales but both smartphone manufacturers enjoy almost equal market share in terms of value, according to power retailers.

The Korean brand launches a couple of new models every year, where as Apple introduces only one or two models a year.

Apple sold 74.47 million iPhones in the latest quarter (Jan-March 2015), about 25 million more than it’s previous best quarter and 16 million more than analysts expected. iPhone sales have doubled in Asia, recording the fastest growth among all geographies.

Etisalat and du are the authorised distributors of iPhones in the UAE but a couple of key retailers buy smartphones directly from Apple.

According to the latest data available with the UAE’s Telecommunications Regulatory Authority, the iPhone is gaining its market share. While the iPhone 5s is the most commonly used mobile handset in the country, the iPhone 6 is also being sold like hot cake since its launch in the country.

The Cupertino-based company has more than 450 retail stores in 16 countries and online stores are available in 39 countries. Turkey was the last country, which got an Apple store in Istanbul on April 5, 2014.

Apple’s many stores are located inside shopping malls, but the company has built several stand-alone ‘flagship’ stores in high-profile locations and those are around 40. The tech giant’s stores sell Macintosh personal computers, software, iPods, iPads, iPhones, Apple TV, third party accessories and now Apple Watches.

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.

Its authorised resellers - Sharaf DG, Jumbo Electronics, Plug Ins and Virgin Megastore - have designated areas of Apple products on the ‘shop-in-a-shop’ concept basis at eight locations in the emirate, according to Apple website. Apple’s premium reseller in Dubai is iStyle, which has stores at three locations in the emirate. -

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