Residents of Dubai and surrounding areas have been all set to bask in the glory of living in the vicinity of the world’s largest Apple Retail Store. Revealed earlier this year in May, Apple is planning on not only launching its first Retail Store in the United Arab Emirates, but also making it the largest in the world to showcase its products and services to a highly captivated and enthusiastic UAE market. The latest information pertaining to the store is now suggesting that the bricks and mortar outlet is still happening, but that its grand opening has been delayed by at least a month.
Residents of the local area had initially been expecting the stunning flagship store to open at some point during the month of August. Now, it appears that the store, which will be located within The Mall of the Emirates, will not open until October or even possibly later. Everything else relating to the proposed store is apparently remaining unchanged with Apple expected to make a huge impact with not just this store but also with an additional location in Dubai situated in the Dubai Mall.
The entry into the United Arab Emirates market with an official Apple Retail Store location could see the beginning of a new revenue stream for the Cupertino based giant. Information that was made public earlier in the week suggested that the UAE had eventually bowed to pressure from Apple and made a change to its foreign ownership laws purely for Tim Cook’s company. One of the reasons that Apple hadn’t previously entered into that particular market was due to the fact that the ownership laws stated that at least 51-percent of the branch would need to be owned by Emiratis.
It seems that Apple’s successes around the world have put the company in a position where it can negotiate with local governments to allow it entry into previously untapped markets. The introduction into the UAE, could however have a negative impact on a number of official Apple resellers who do their business within The Mall of the Emirates and surrounding retail zones. That said, Mueez Rahman, a business development manager for a group that owns a chain of reseller outlets, doesn’t subscribe to the opening of the Apple Store as a negative:
Tourists may want to visit the Apple store, but most people in the UAE will be buying from their local shops.
Let’s hope there is enough business for Apple and competing companies to trade harmoniously side by side.
(Source: The National)