By Staff writer
US tech giant reportedly gets green light to open first Middle East stores in Dubai and Abu Dhabi
US tech giant Apple has reportedly been granted an exemption from foreign ownership laws in the UAE, giving the green light to plans to set up shops in the country.
Bloomberg reported on Wednesday that Apple will be allowed to retain 100 percent control of operations in the emirates, citing two people with knowledge of the matter.
The dispensation was a condition for the world’s largest listed company to set up in the UAE, the sources were quoted as saying.
It reported that Apple will open its first Middle East store in Dubai this year and then Abu Dhabi after securing the privileges.
Under local regulations, 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.
A spokeswoman for Apple in Dubai didn’t respond to calls from Bloomberg requesting comment.
Earlier this year, it was reported that Apple's largest retail store is on track to open in Dubai's Mall of the Emirates in August.
The retail space is expected to be about 50,000 square feet in total, with a main entrance on the second level of the mall's new Fashion District.
The new store in the Mall of Emirates is expected to be its biggest outlet in the world, bigger than its current flagship outlet - more than double the 23,000 square feet Grand Central Store in New York.
Apple CEO Tim Cook visited the UAE last year, meeting with Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, as well as a number of Apple resellers.For all the latest retail news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.
This is just not right. Either there is rules or regulations or not, but making exceptions all the time shows that the country isn't serious in enforcing its own rules and regulations. Let Apple go if they do not follow the rules of this country, are we so badly in need for a shop from them here? No! Sooner or later their products will appear. This is such an unfair treatment towards everyone who has to follow the regulations...
You are right Ulevpri. This is ridiculous. Whether one agrees or not with the GCC 51% local rule, the fact is that it's there and I never saw it (in my 31 years working in the Gulf) openly set-aside like this. We all see the weirdly god-like status attributed to Apple products by many sad geeks and sycophants, but to see a basic law excepted just for their convenience - very strange indeed. If the UAE wanted to make exceptions there are many businesses which could bring far more employment, knock-on commercial impact and revenue to the UAE than a couple of pretentious Apple shops (that sell things you can already buy anyway!)
Common guys.. Every country makes its economy related decisions based on factors which help boost its economy. UAE has every right to amend any of its laws for any company. By the way this is not first time they have done it. Its just like every country has different kind of relations with every other country. Countries give tax discounts/holidays to big corporations to boost economy.
Most importantly it will be a big support for Apple products users. There is no proper support available in UAE at the moment.
People who have used apple shops around globe for support can tell the huge difference they make.
Just because it hasnt happened for the 31years you have been in the Gulf, doesnt mean it can never happen.
The UAE had to bend/break its rules because it is missing out on valuable support from Apple on its products which pretty much affects atleast half the residents of the UAE.
The needs of the UAE are greater than Apple on this instance, and therefore it is highly commendable that an agreement has been reached. Its simple negotiations which are a success, something which is probably hard for people like you to understand I imagine.