News | UAE

Take a bite of the Apple

Phew, it's here at last. Come March 16 and Dubai will have its first official Apple store

  • By Muby Asger, Staff reporter
  • Published: 00:00 March 10, 2011
  • XPRESS

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  • Image Credit: Supplied
  • Apple fans in the UAE will no longer need to pick up the latest Apple products from abroad – they are all here

Dubai: It's been a long time coming, but it's finally here: the first official Apple store in the Middle East. And Apple addicts are hoping it's worth the wait.

The Apple store will open its doors to the public on March 16 at Mall of the Emirates, sources said. Scheduled to be a shop within a shop, its opening is expected to be followed by the traditional fanfare and long queues of the city's Apple addicts waiting to test out the latest products or grab an opening day bargain.

Moroccan Noureddine Baloush, a self-confessed Apple-head, says the opening of the store would save him the cost of flying out to other countries every time Apple launches a new product. "I was just about to book my ticket to London to get the iPad2. But now that the official store is only a week away from opening, surely they will stock whatever is stocked in the rest of the world.

Resellers' Days numbered

"Regardless of how many authorised resellers or retailers exist in the market, that's all they are. They still have to wait for authorities to approve products and check international stock before supplying them to buyers in Dubai," says the businessman.

Although little is known about whether residents will have access to the iPad 2 next Wednesday, it has been confirmed that a 10 per cent discount will be offered on all purchases made on March 16. The store will also run a limited promotion offering gift vouchers to all who purchase iMacs and Macbooks.

Angelina Derickx, a Belgian entrepreneur and long-time Apple fan, is hopeful that the store will remain faithful to its international counterparts and feature the much-loved Genius Bar. At the Genius Bar, Apple owners have access to on-the-spot technical support and repairs as well as free workshops and seminars. "Whenever I'm in Paris, I spend hours at the Genius Bar. It's been years that I've waited for this giant to make its presence felt in the UAE."

From Dubai's pre-iPhone days, when Apple users were an underground community, to a time when keeping up with the Joneses often includes having the latest Apple product on display in your living room, Steve Job's pet project has reached new heights of popularity.

The store could fan the flames of the Apple addiction, finally including Dubai as one of the pillars of the global Apple community.

Comments (5)

  1. Added 17:33 March 10, 2011

    It’s wrong information. No Apple Retail Store will be opened in the UAE.

    Japple, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  2. Added 12:08 March 10, 2011

    Please get your facts right before publishing such articles. The existing apple kiosk at Virgin Mega Store is being renovated. Do you check the authenticity of these reports before publishing them? There is no official Apple store in the UAE.

    Menon, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  3. Added 10:37 March 10, 2011

    Finally the day is here... can’t wait at all! I shall be the first early bird there, probably camp there... Finally all the silly stories that cheat you will find themselves lost in space...

    Jay Whabi, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  4. Added 07:15 March 10, 2011

    According to this source this information is incorrect: http://www.saudimac.com/2011/03/confirmed-by-apple-no-apple-store-in-uae/

    Andrew, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  5. Added 05:42 March 10, 2011

    According to Saudimac, the reports have been refuted by Apple PR. Please find the link attached for the confirmation: http://www.saudimac.com/2011/03/confirmed-by-apple-no-apple-store-in-uae/. To get this story straight, XPRESS can get this information confirmed by Apple directly.

    Fahad Faysal, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

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