uae Stories April 4, 2017

We recently heard that Apple is planning to open a new retail store at The Dubai Mall in the United Arab Emirates, and today Apple officially unveiled its plans for the new location. Apple retail SVP Angela Ahrendts shared the news:

We’re getting ready for our newest store in UAE by celebrating local artists and entrepreneurs. Excited for Apple Dubai Mall!

The new Apple Store location doesn’t have a grand opening date set yet as preparations are still ongoing…

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uae Stories May 26, 2016

Apple-Arabic-site

Apple today debuted a new Arabic version of Apple.com, bringing the language to its website and online store for the first time alongside a new font right-to-left text.

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uae Stories November 6, 2015

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Last week, Apple seeded the first beta of the upcoming iOS 9.2 release to developers, and we’ve discovered that the new update will add support for Arabic in Siri. Apple previously built in the fundamental elements of understanding Arabic to iOS by adding Arabic support to the Keyboard Dictation and QuickType features in iOS 8 last year. Apple adding Arabic support to Siri follows up on Apple expanding its retail presence to the United Arab Emirates by opening up a pair of flagship stores in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

A local YouTube video shows off examples of Siri in Arabic:

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uae 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

uae 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

uae 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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uae 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.

uae Stories May 20, 2015

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New Brussels shopping complex<em> La Toison d’Or</em>

Apple is getting closer to taking its retail stores to a new market: Belgium. According to sources within Apple retail, Apple today sent out a memo announcing the new market. The note also was sent to gauge interest from employees who may be inclined to relocate to Belgium to assist with opening up the new location…

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uae 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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uae 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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uae Stories February 2, 2014

Tim Cook visits with UAE Prime Minister then visits local electronics retailers

Apple CEO Tim Cook was spotted at several electronics outlets in the United Arab Emirates this week, starting with the Virgin Megastore at Al Wahda Mall, according to the store’s Facebook page. He also visited the Jacky’s electronics store at the Dubai Mall.

Both stores are Apple resellers, so perhaps Cook is simply checking up on Apple’s representation in the country. Some have speculated that he could be scouting locations for an official Apple outlet in one of these malls.

It’s also possible Cook is in the UAE to discuss Apple’s involvement in the upcoming Gulf Photo Plus photography festival, for which Apple is a sponsor this year. That doesn’t seem extremely likely, however, given that the festival is over a month away.

Update: Cook also visited the UAE Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum as shown in the somewhat awkward video below.

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