First official Apple Store to open in UAE, Mall of the Emirates

Posted March 9, 2011 by Thomas Shambler in News

It took long enough, but Virgin Megastore has finally answered UAE-based Apple fanboy’s calls and will be opening the region’s first official Apple Store next week. The store, in Dubai’s Mall of the Emirates, will be 100 per cent Apple, we’re told, complete with Apple staff and know-it-all Geniuses.

It’s a real boon for Apple-lovers in the UAE, who in the past have had to deal with extra-long waits for Cupertino’s latest toys or suffer the hugely-inflated prices on the grey market.

Bad news for other manufacturers though, who have no doubt capitalized on Apple’s lackluster presence in the region.

More info – including better images (these are just sample shots) in a bit – and we’re going to ask Richard Branson himself if this means the iPad 2 will get here any quicker.

[UPDATE – the exact date is March 16th, and Virgin Megastore will be celebrating by giving away vouchers to would-be iMac and MacBook buyers]

About the Author

Thomas Shambler

Editor of Stuff in the Middle East. Known for his witty reviews and insightful comments on some of the world’s coolest kit, he is responsible for putting together the magazine, testing the newest tech, and writing features at the laser-cut edge of the gadget world. Thomas also makes regular broadcast appearances during which he gives friendly advice and warns the world of the impending robot Armageddon.




    i hope they come to saudi arabia as soon as possible


    some idiot muslim suicide bomber will prolyl destory it.


    Dear Steve Jobs
    Millions of customers in the Middle East need Apple support in opening an official store that sells, does maintenance, etc to all Apple products. In the absence of such support, a lot of Apple customers become frustrated due to lack of stores that sells Apple products and accessories. It’s not ideal for Apple customers to pay money, plus taxes for products in Europe while the products are going to be shipped to Middle East anyway. Same thing applies when customers send their Apple products for maintenance to Europe. This is only a sneak peak of the sever difficulties that Apple customers encounter in Middle East when it comes to purchase Apple products or when it comes to maintenance. We have many customers interested in Apple products, but the lack of official stores and support, does discourage customers from putting themselves in such situation while they have other competitive alternatives, more convenient, and they cost less.

    Hopefully, your next focus point will be supporting Middle East


    We are waiting for the opening of our country :(
    we need for open Apple store in SaudiArabia


    How is it an “official apple store” if it’s run by virgin?


    The news is wrong this is not First official Apple Store!!
    it is just authorized apple dealer.


    If its an Apple store, what’s Virgin doing? I know Apple has an office in Abu Dhabi and they would definitely look at Dubai as an option, but I fail to understand the Virgin connection though & btw Virgin Megastore ME is a franchisee of Virgin UK.


    Will the pricing be same or not far from the US?


    I’m going to leave the same comment that I left at

    I’ve been living out in Dubai for around 20 years, and have been a “keen observer of the local Mac scene. It doesn’t make any sense for Apple to directly open a store within a store.

    Virgin Megastore out here is run under a what I believe is a franchisee model. The local franchisee has on occasion carried grey market Apple products – iPhone 4 / iPad, when they haven’t been available through official distribution channels. I would not see this happening if Virgin were out here themselves – with their brand to protect.

    I’ve been told by Apple’s exclusive distributor – Arab Business Machines (an arm of the Midis Group) that Apple already has an office out in Abu Dhabi.

    A job posting that links to in it’s post on this issue makes sense. It explicitly states “ensure that Apple Sales Staff & Partner Staff who work in third party stores and Store Staff employed by our key reseller’s”. While I wouldn’t expect the job posting to give it away – this fits in with what I think will probably turn out to be another “Mac store” opened by a reseller.

    It would be great to get Apple coming in directly to break up what is a region wide monopoly – but I doubt it’ll happen in retail right away – and definitely not a store within a store.

    If anywhere, I’d expect an actual Apple Store at Dubai Mall, possibly on the Avenue that runs through Downtown Dubai, and a far shot as suggested by someone on Twitter – the new mall on Yas Island.


    I think IRAN was a better choice for opening an Apple store in Mideast.
    but as here said,it’s not an apple store and it’s just a common store for selling apple stuff.


    I m a Apple certified technician i want to wrok with u….


    Hi, i m working in dubai but i want to work with u …….

    M. Kashif Khalique

    Friends/Customer services! my uncle purchase iphone4s for me on 5th,feb,12 from usa and bring pakistan, after 20 days speaker of the phone is not working, there is no App store in our country. i am going dubai on 9th,Apr-14thApr,12 can go to app store dubai to clame my varanti i have lost purchase receipt, but i check online guarantee is valid. plz guide me where i go and what i do my email add is


    Authentic jailbroken (unlocked) sealed in box Apple

    iPhone 4S 64GB/32GB & Apple iPad 3 64GB + Wifi 4G.

    *Blackberry Porche* Available
    *Samsung Galaxy S3* Available

    SMS: 205-308-8906
    Direct Mobile Ltd:-


    Dear Sir/Madam.

    3 Year’s Working Experience In Apple Franchise (Apple iStore Authorized Reseller) Sale & Marking Department As a Senior Sales exclusive in Lahore Pakistan
    . My Activity Maintain/ Stock/ Cash/ Public Dealing/ Computer maintain Sale Sheet .

    please send me mail ID

    Avinash poojari

    How can i apply here for the job as a ales executive


    Actually i`ve never seen a product better than apple more especially in NEW IPAD and we hope ipple will come up with another new idea to develope our world with technological innovations

    Keith Rutherford

    Hi I am coming into the Dubai Msll on 22/9/2012 I would like to know if you have an applemac with a uk keyboard I would like to buy educational pricing along with cs6 premium web also widows software use disc
    also will you have a iphone5 I can reserve
    Many thanks


    my iphone 4s is locked and need to activate..
    can u activate and unlock in your store?



    I’m Jay Talle a filipino guy, This my Feedback: I buy two Iphone 4s 16GB & 32GB last month then after one week I upgrade IOS 6 after 3 days my wifi is not working so I decided to go in the store were I buy my phone, then they said that they need to fix my phone in there service center and they change the motherboard of my phone. the question is … it is ok that they change the motherboard of my phone that is under cover of warranty? Please reply because I’m not happy now….


    they should give you a new one not repair .they give u new peice

    Rizwan aziz

    Salam alykum sir i have a problem in my i phone the wifi is not working properly it is works when it near to router but when its go little far the conection makes lost plz do advise what should i do my name is muhammed plz cotact me on this number 0508512342 plz


    how much is macbook pro 15 inch


    you should first suck my cock.

    jenneth enriquez

    can you help me my ipad mini?


    i am looking for the programs – clean my mac and toast titanium pro 11 ( original cds) please


    You should go to the Mall of Arabia, there is an Apple premium store just opened for the KSA region. The store is conveniently located Ground Floor Shop No 110.Al Nuzha District Makkah High Way. Website:


    Hi I have a problem in my I phone 5 while charging it is very difficult to charge for me I bought my phone from Bur Dubai so can I go virgin mega store mall of Emirates n give for servicing or else where can I give could you please let me know with the exact location very urgent …


      Hi Shradha. You might want to first try cleaning the charging port on your iPhone 5 as they have been known to collect a lot of dust that builds up over time. For a full service you can take the phone in to any iStyle store or as you correctly suggested Virgin Megastore at Mall of the Emirates in Dubai. If you have Apple Care you may be eligible for a free service but you will have to establish this with the retailer you take it to.


    You may also go to Bur dubai, or Computer Plaza where amny specialty shops for iphone servicing are there. (ofcourse these are not iCertified) but they do a good job.


    “opening of our country[sic.]” or “in our country”?? :/ :P


    you do know nothing about Islam or Muslims do involve your self in something bigger than, and suicide bomber which are talking about are exist in all religion do not let me give facts which were happened. clean your soul from those radical senses and try to understand some things before you talking about do not leave your self a victim for the propaganda which are guiding you and hiding the truth. leave in peace and wish the peace for the world that’s it


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