Global tech firm Apple has announced plans to open a new store in Dubai Mall.
The opening was revealed via the unveiling of a special barricade surrounding the two-level storefront.
Apple has not yet confirmed when exactly the store will be opened.
The announcement comes after the company posted 14 new UAE job openings on its website in December, with most of the new roles focussed on retail.
Apple opened its first stores in the Middle East in October 2015, with two outlets launched simultaneously in Dubai’s Mall of the Emirates and Abu Dhabi’s Yas Mall.
“I think having a signature store in the Dubai Mall – which is not only Dubai’s largest mall, but the region’s most popular mall attracting tourists from all over the GCC– will definitely have a good impact on Apple’s already upscale brand image with the consumer,” said Nabila Popal, senior research manager, Middle East, Africa and Turkey at IDC.
“It will allow its existing consumers to enjoy Apple’s unique in-store experience and also be directly in touch with the Apple’s products and services.
“It will also allow many other potential consumers who have yet to be converted to Apple from other competitive Android based brands, to experience the same, and perhaps finally make that conversion,” she added.
Apple has been keen to increase its market share in the UAE, where it enjoys strong loyalty.
The company’s CEO Tim Cook, who visited the UAE in May 2016, confirmed that the company plans to expand its presence in the country.
In June, two new Apple stores were also opened at the Dubai Duty Free (DDF) in Dubai International Airport, representing the largest-ever Apple outlets in travel retail.
Located in Terminal 3 next to gate B15 and A12, the stores offer the full Apple ecosystem including the iPhone, the iPad, the Apple watch, the MacBook range, Apple TV and Apple accessories.
According to the latest report by the UAE’s Telecoms Regulatory Authority, the iPhone 6 was found to be the most popular smartphone in the country in the second quarter of 2016 with a market share of 4.17 per cent.
However, Samsung remained the most popular brand in terms of handsets, with 33.3 per cent, with Apple in the third place with 13.6 per cent.
“As Dubai Mall’s footfall is significant, I expect the new store to definitely boost sales from retail perspective, however, I don’t expect a significant change in Apple’s share because of this – perhaps a percent if at all,” opined Popal.
“More than increase Apple’s overall share, it is more likely to convert buyers making their purchase from other point of sale channels like other standalone electronics stores.”