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Apple plans to expand UAE presence – CEO

Apple plans to expand UAE presence – CEO

Tim Cook made a surprise visit to Apple’s Dubai store on Saturday

Apple, which opened two stores in the United Arab Emirates last year, plans to further expand its presence in the country, its chief executive officer has said.

Tim Cook came to the UAE following a visit to India, and made a surprise stop at the company’s Mall of the Emirates store.

“The last time I was here there were no stores. We’ve got our first one here now, and we have one in Abu Dhabi as you know. We’ll have more over time,” Cook told Gulf News.

“In 2010, our revenue in the Middle East was $300-400m; last year it was $3bn,” he said.

“We scaled up and we grew nicely in the first half of this year versus the first half of last year in the Middle East. So we’re growing step by step.”

Apple, whose iPhones are extremely popular in the UAE, also opened a store in Abu Dhabi’s Yas Island last year.

Read: Pictures, video: Apple’s new store in Dubai’s Mall of the Emirates

The two stores have a combined staff of 150 people from 30 nationalities, speaking 40 different languages.

The opening of the UAE outlets marked the first time that Apple unveiled two new stores in a country on the same day – following the first and second store in the US.

Apple has been increasing its market share in the UAE in the last few years and had 14.2 per cent as of Q2 2015, according to the latest report from the UAE’s Telecoms Regulatory Authority.

The report also found that the iPhone 6 was the most commonly used smartphone in the UAE, comprising 4.9 per cent of total handsets. It was followed by the iPhone 5s, with 3.5 per cent of the market share.

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