Dubai Stories April 26, 2017

A day before the official opening, Apple invited local press to tour its latest retail store within the Dubai Mall in the United Arab Emirates. Headline features include views of the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa, and a 180-feet wide motorized window comprising 18 carbon fiber panels.

To mitigate Dubai’s climate, Foster + Parters designed eighteen 37.5-foot-high motorized “Solar Wings” that respond to the ever-changing environmental conditions. When the sun is at its hottest they cool the store, and in the evenings they open to welcome everyone to the public terrace. Inspired by the the traditional Arabic Mashrabiya, each “Solar Wing” is locally fabricated from 340 carbon fiber reinforced polymer rods, and at 180 feet wide, the 18 panels make up one of the world’s largest kinetic art installations.

The store will also provide great views of another Dubai attraction …

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Dubai Stories April 13, 2017

Apple’s third retail store in the United Arab Emirates, located in the fashionable Dubai Mall, will open on April 27. The company has announced on its website that the grand opening will take place at 4pm after promoting it with a Creativity Connected tagline and a unique art display.

The store, which occupies two floors in the giant shopping mall, will be open seven days a week, 10am to 11pm Sunday to Wednesday and 10am to midnight Thursday to Saturday …

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Dubai Stories October 29, 2015

Apple Store Dubai

Apple’s giant new Dubai Apple Store at the Mall of the Emirates has officially opened its doors today as scheduled. Angela Ahrendts, Apple’s head of retail, tweeted the photo above showing the new store’s staff that will be able to “serve in 26 languages.” Ahrendts previously shared multiple photos showing off Apple’s latest flagship retail stores (below) in Dubai and Abu Dhabi which both open today. expand full story

Dubai Stories October 27, 2015

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Last month in Brussels gave us our first look at the all-new Apple Store design after Jony Ive and his team went to work, and today we can see what looks very much like a carbon copy of that look in the new Dubai store set to open on Thursday.

We see the same indoor trees and huge screen as seen in Brussels, but on a much larger scale. Gulf News, which took the photos below, says that the store is still being reported to be the world’s largest Apple Store, overtaking London’s Covent Garden, though it notes that “at first appearance” it looks smaller than expected …  expand full story

Dubai Stories October 26, 2015

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Pure Fitness has sent an email to its customers reporting that its branch at 170 Orchard Road in Singapore will be closing at the end of the year to make way for a new Apple Store set to open in late 2016, reports TechInAsia.

Pure and other tenants will be handing back space to make way for the opening of a new Apple store in late 2016.

It made the same statement in a later press release. While this is an unconfirmed report, the location would make sense …  expand full story

Dubai Stories October 15, 2015

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UPDATE: We were sent some images of the Abu Dhabi store in its current boarded-up state, confirming the grand opening date. Thanks, @7Alsabe:

Apple is set to open its first two retail stores in United Arab Emirates in the next couple of weeks. Apple will host a grand opening in Dubai and Abu Dhabi on October 29 for the new Apple Stores, one of which is rumored to be the biggest Apple Store in the world. The company updated its store locations page recently to include the two stores in UAE, announcing the openings of both stores…

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Dubai Stories August 19, 2015

Conflicting reports surface over Dubai Apple Store plans and UAE-granted exemption

Apple has been eyeing the prospect of opening a retail store in Dubai for quite some time now with hiring starting almost exactly a year ago and a UAE newspaper claiming three months ago that a 50,000 square foot store would open this month.

Up until now, however, legal issues over foreign ownership laws in the UAE have presented roadblocks from that happening, and today Bloomberg reported that Apple has been granted a significant exemption resolving that issue:

Apple Inc. has been granted an exemption from foreign ownership laws in the United Arab Emirates that will allow it 100 percent control of operations in the country, according to two people with knowledge of the matter.

The report goes on to say that the exemption being issued was a condition that Apple required being met before it would open a retail store in the region, adding that plans to open a new store this year are still underway.

Countering the claim, however, is Gulf News reporting that Apple has not been granted 100 percent control of operations in the UAE. The conflicting report cites a specific government official in denying that Apple has been given such an exemption:

“Apple was licenced 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. Within this mandate, branches of foreign companies in the UAE have full management rights provided they work through an Emirati service agent,” he said.

Despite the conflicting reports, it seems clear Apple is moving forward with its plans to open up shop in the UAE, although the legal tightrope walk may make that happen later than expected.

Dubai Stories May 18, 2015

World’s largest Apple Store due to open in Dubai in August, says UAE newspaper

We learned last August that Apple was planning to open its first retail store in the Middle East, with local media reporting shortly afterwards that the location was Dubai – and would be the world’s largest Apple Store. The Khaleej Times has now put a number on that, reporting that the store will be 50,000 square feet, and is expected to open this August.

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.

London’s Covent Garden store was the world’s largest Apple Store when it opened, occupying three floors totalling 40,000 square feet – making the Dubai store 25% bigger.

Tim Cook visited Dubai in February of last year, also visiting Abu Dhabi, where the Khaleej Times reports the newly opened Yas Mall is likely to host Apple’s second retail store in the UAE.

The United Arab Emirates is a natural home for Apple, as the 19th richest country in the world, and an increasingly popular premium tourist destination with an emphasis on luxury goods. The Mall of the Emirates counts 80 designer brands among its 700 stores, as well as two 5-Star hotels and an indoor ski resort.

Via Patently Apple

Dubai Stories April 15, 2015

Chess Grandmaster banned after being caught cheating using an iPod with chess app

A chess Grandmaster has been banned from the Dubai Open Chess Tournament after being caught using an iPod touch running a chess app, reports Dubai Chess.

Gaioz Nigalidze, winner of the Georgian championship in 2013 and 2014, used a smart phone hidden in a toilet to consult moves with a chess computer […]

GM Gaioz Nigalidze of Georgia was caught by tournament officials consulting a device hidden in one of the toilet cubicles of the Dubai Chess and Culture Club during his sixth-round encounter with Armenia’s GM Tigran Petrosian.

His opponent reportedly became suspicious when Nigalidze made frequent trips to the toilet. Officials investigated and found that he always used the same cubicle in the bathroom, and a search found the iPod hidden behind the toilet. A chess app was open on the device, mirroring the game being played.

Nigalidze denied that the iPod was his, but it was found to be logged into one of his social media accounts. It has not yet been revealed which chess app was used.

Via Washington Post

Dubai Stories August 20, 2014

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Middle East luxury lifestyle magazine Edgar claims “insider knowledge” that the planned Apple Store in the United Arab Emirates will be the largest in the world, and will be located in a huge shopping mall in Dubai.

US-based tech giant Apple will open its biggest store in the world at Dubai’s Mall of the Emirates, EDGAR can exclusively reveal […] Our undisclosed source said that the store – which will be the biggest Apple has ever built – was originally planned to replace the current cinema complex …

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Dubai Stories August 15, 2014

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If you look at map of Apple Store locations around the world, there’s one very obvious wealthy area of the world without a single store: the oil-rich nations of the Middle East. This now looks set to change, as ifoAppleStore spotted Apple job listings for the United Arab Emirates for the complete range of retail store positions.

The job listings appeared yesterday, and include the full range of store positions from Store and Market Leader, Manager, Expert, Creative and Specialist. The listings also include the Apple Store Leader Program, a 24-month development program for those who have just graduated from higher education …

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Dubai Stories May 7, 2011

Update: we just got the following unverified account:

According to my friend who was at the Sanlitun Apple Store when the incident took place, there were dozens of resellers outside the store trying to get the white iPhone 4, they were told to wait in line and was not allowed to go inside. Resellers got pissed and smashed the glass door, which costs about 300,000RMB or 46,000USD, according to an apple employee at the store. Then a foreign(non-Chinese) employee came out from the store with a metal club and hit 4 people, including 2 young men and 2 middle age women. All 4 people are hospitalized right now and no money was paid by apple for medical purposes.

Pictures are just coming in but it appears that there was some sort of incident between “foreign Apple Store Employees” and some locals during the iPad 2 launch.  One account:

The afternoon of May 7, Beijing SanLiTun store Apple, crowds queued to buy the iPhone4 conflict with in-store staff. One stands more than 1.9 metres for expatriate staff armed with iron rods Brawl wounded four customers. A glass door of the store were hit and destroyed by excited crowds. Are 4-bit the injured have been admitted to hospital

Another account has another poorly translated view:

Sanlitun Apple Store bloodshed, because too many people queuing waiting suddenly closed shop, where the weather is so hot multi-line Burongyia, Apple stunned party to a foreigner and a Chinese man actually hands-on, people with the scene confirmed the man was wounded also the guests lined up to buy Apple products.We look at the quality of foreigners, but also that, to earn the money we have in China is also the name of our people.

We’re not sure exactly what went down but it doesn’t look too good.

In other Apple Store glass smashing news, the Westlake Cleveland Apple store was robbed.  24 MacBook and 1 iPod stolen.  Perpetrators were last seen heading east (1999?)

More pictures of bloodied people and one final account below:

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