UAE’s first Apple store set to open very soon.
Apple merely reaffirmed its commitment to the UAE market by announcing its plan to build a brick-and-mortar Apple Store in August 2015 in Mall of the Emirates’ Fashion District, and open a second store in Abu Dhabi’s newly opened Yas Mall. This is to be Apple’s first ever stores in the Middle East.
Tim Cook, who took over for Steve Jobs as Apple’s CEO in August 2011, said the United Arab Emirates is an important country for Apple and decided in September of that same year to launch its much-awaited online store in the country, allowing UAE customers to finally buy their favorite products. Users have been able to enjoy one-click ordering, shipping and delivery of various items, such as Macs, iPads, iPhones and iPods; they could also purchase music on iTunes directly from apple online store.
UAE has been among the fastest growing markets around the world; this led to the company’s decision to open a physical store in the region. Apple fans have eagerly awaited for this moment. Regional consumers will be able to go directly to the brand retailer to enjoy the in-store experience; they will be able to try out new models before they pre-order or purchase it. To walk into an Apple Store and buy item in-persons, simplifies the retail experience too by reducing the need to return unwanted products.
Last year, Apple’s CEO Tim Cook went to the UAE to discuss the possibility of opening the first chain stores of Apple Store in the country. Cook visited a few official Apple resellers and really noticed the need for an official retail presence in the Emirates. The stores in Dubai and Adu Dhabi might be a direct consequence of that trip.
The company decided to open a store in the Mall of Emirates; it is to be Apple’s largest retail store in the world. Apple hinted at the possibility of a store opening also in a shopping center, Yas Mall in Abu Dhabi. There are also talks of a third store in Downtown Dubai by the end of the year.
Meanwhile, Apple’s largest retail store set to be located at Mall of the Emirates is under construction. In the works is a 50,000-sq foot store that is close to the new Fashion District in the mall, said a spokesperson for the Mall of the Emirates owner who responded to Khaleej Times queries.
Though Apple products are already being sold by authorized third party resellers at many locations across the Emirates, the newly developed Apple stores are sure to spark a frenzy among excited fans in the UAE who look forward to opening the door to a richer, more colorful experience.
Apple’s CEO Tim Cook says expansion in emerging markets is key. He thinks the push into UAE is a smart move for the company in both the retail and online version. Apple is expected to see higher levels of growth as a result.
Next stop for the Apple’s retail expansion are in education and business development. While in the Emirates, Cook met with UAE Vice-President and Prime Minister Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum to discuss initiatives to supply the country with devices for education initiatives, including a possible partnership on new e-learning programs. In addition, Cook met with HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed to exchange talks about establishing novel concepts on software and telecommunication technology so UAE companies can harness advancements in ICT sector to modernise their businesses, activities and services.