Apple to open first store in the Middle East with full ownership

Published August 19th, 2015 - 05:14 GMT
Al Bawaba
Al Bawaba

Apple Inc will open its first store in the Middle East on Sept. 28 in Mall of Emirates with 100 percent ownership.

The Cupertino-based company will be allowed to retain 100 percent control of operations in the UAE, Bloomberg reported on Wednesday by citing two people familiar with the matter.

The dispensation was a condition for the world's largest listed company to set up in the UAE, the people said, asking not to be identified as the plans are private.  

Khaleej Times tried to get in touch with the Dubai office of Apple but did not get a response.

"Apple was licensed 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," Ahmad al-Hosani, director of trade registration at the Ministry of Economy, said in an e-mailed statement.  

This statement neither denies nor confirms about the store's opening. The first media report on the subject appeared a couple of months ago.  

All businesses operating in the UAE must be 51 percent owned by Emiratis or a company wholly owned by them unless they are based in free-zones.  

Earlier this year, Minister of Economy Sultan bin Saeed al-Mansoori said that the government is working on a new foreign investment law that would allow 100 percent foreign ownership in some industries.  

Abu Dhabi's newly opened Yas Mall is likely to host the second Apple store in the UAE may be next year, sources told this scribe. The space has been taken in the mall, they added.

Etisalat and du are the authorized distributors of iPhones in the UAE but a couple of key retailers buy smartphones directly from Apple.

By Abdul Basit


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