UAE retailers hail Apple Store as grey-market antidote

Resellers anticipate overall boosted sales from branded Apple outlet

Tags: Apple IncorporatedUnited Arab Emirates
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UAE retailers hail Apple Store as grey-market antidote UAE retailers are upbeat about the forthcoming UAE Apple Store. (Getty Images)
By  Stephen McBride Published  August 25, 2014

UAE Apple resellers have welcomed the upcoming Middle East Apple Store, expected to be based in the UAE, as a means to curb grey market operations and boost overall sales of the US company's products.

GALLERY: Leaked images of Apple's iPhone 6

Recent reports, including one by's sister site Arabian Business, have suggested Apple may have selected Mall of the Emirates for its first store in the region and that the unit would be Apple's largest by floor space, when launched. Dubai-based news site Emirates 24|7 cited a source within a UAE retailer who speculated that a second store may open in Abu Dhabi.

But Apple is confirming no details. When asked for comment on precise location, floor space and opening date, the company's press office shared only its standard statement with "The United Arab Emirates is an important country for Apple. We launched the Apple Online Store, UAE in 2011 and it's one of our fastest growing markets around the world. We look forward to opening a physical store in the region and sharing Apple's unique shopping experience and services."

Apple products generally reach the Gulf region many weeks, sometimes months, after their global launch, leading to a grey market in the goods as they are imported for consumers willing to pay an extreme mark-up. When officially available, iPhones and iPads still cost more in the UAE than the same products sold in the US and Europe.

GALLERY: Leaked images of Apple's iPhone 6 asked UAE retailers what impact the branded store might have on the market for Apple products within the Gulf nation.

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