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Rumours take the bite out of Apple store launch

Virgin to have just a dedicated area instead

Gulf News

Dubai: The much-publicised Apple Retail Store will not be coming to Dubai, contrary to earlier announcements by Virgin Megastore. Virgin Megastore had initially announced that the first official Apple Store in the Middle East would open shortly at one of its Dubai locations.

Although Apple has not released an official statement yet, Apple Europe has clarified that Virgin Megastore will open an Apple Shop but not an Apple Retail Store.

The difference is that an Apple Shop is a dedicated area within a bigger store devoted entirely to a range of Apple notebooks and desktops. This will be the first Apple Shop in the UAE and will be located at the Mall of the Emirates. The Apple Shop will not have a Genius Bar — a feature available only at Apple Retail Stores — where Apple trained experts provide technical support.

Instead, it will have Mac Solutions Consultants — experts trained and certified by Apple to advise customers on a range of Apple desktops and notebooks, including the MacBook, MacBook Pro, MacBook Air iMac, and Mac-compatible range of software and accessories, a Virgin Megastore spokesperson said. The Apple Shop will not have iPads or iPad accessories, the spokesperson added.

Virgin Megastore declined to comment on the discrepancy between their earlier statements.

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