Apple signals retail expansion in the Gulf

Apple opened a new retail store in Istanbul in April. (Photo courtesy of Apple Inc.)

BEIRUT: Apple Inc. signaled Saturday that it would be expanding its retail operations to the Gulf, posting job ads for a range of positions in the United Arab Emirates.

With retail operations in just 16 countries, Apple offers a wider range of services and experiences in its official stores than are available from authorized and unauthorized resellers, including its Genius Bar, which offers onsite repairs and training to customers.

The company posted jobs for store managers, geniuses, inventory specialists and the Apple Store Leader Program, among others. The job postings did not specify which city the store would be in.

Apple has not confirmed that it will be expanding to the Gulf; however, rumors first cropped up after a February visit by CEO Tim Cook to Dubai, where he met with UAE Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum. Cook visited a number of Apple resellers on that trip, and also visited the iconic Burj Khalifa tower, sparking rumors at the time that the company was considering the location for one of its flagship stores.

A Dubai store would be the second in the Middle East, after Apple opened a location in Istanbul in April. That store was designed by Norman Foster, who is now in charge of design for all Apple retail stores, and has distinctive similarities to the flagship New York location, including the glass box entrance.





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