Apple’s first store in the Middle East is expected to open in August 2015.Apple store will be located at Mall of the Emirates and it will be the world’s largest retail store, sources have confirmed to Khaleej Times. The estimated 50,000-sq foot store is expected to open doors in August 2015. This store will be bigger than Covent Garden store in London, which occupies 40,000 square feet of retail space.
Abu Dhabi’s newly opened Yas Mall is likely to host the second Apple store in the UAE.
A spokesperson for the Mall of the Emirates has mentioned on its website that 30 new stores are set to open, including several first-to-the region brands, and named half of them on the website. The mall is expected to complete the work on a multi-stage redevelopment project called ‘Evolution 2015’ by October this year worth Dh1 billion.
In the UAE, the iPhone is ranked second after Samsung in terms of unit sales but both smartphone manufacturers enjoy almost equal market share in terms of value, according to power retailers.
Apple sold 74.47 million iPhones in the latest quarter (Jan-March 2015), about 25 million more than it’s previous best quarter and 16 million more than analysts expected. iPhone sales have doubled in Asia, recording the fastest growth among all geographies.
In 2011, the company launched the Apple Online Store UAE that offers a range of products, such as iPhones, iPads, iPods and MacBooks. Apple products are already being sold by its authorised resellers at around 100 locations across Dubai, including all terminals at Dubai International airport.
This year Apple opened regional headquarters in Emaar Square in Dubai and has posted job listings for several retail positions in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
Etisalat and du are the authorised distributors of iPhones in the UAE but a couple of key retailers buy smartphones directly from Apple.
Its authorised resellers — Sharaf DG, Jumbo Electronics, Plug Ins and Virgin Megastore — have designated areas of Apple products on the ‘shop-in-a-shop’ concept basis at eight locations in the emirate, according to Apple website. Apple’s premium reseller in Dubai is iStyle, which has stores at three locations in the emirate.