updated 11:00 am EST, Thu March 10, 2011
Region mostly devoid of full-scale Apple Stores
The first Apple Shop in the United Arab Emirates will open at 5PM on March 16th, Virgin has confirmed. In particular, the shop will actually be located within the Virgin Megastore at the Mall of the Emirates in Dubai. An Apple Shop is notably distinct from an Apple Store; instead of a full-scale operation, a Shop is simply a dedicated Apple section within a third-party outlet.
The Middle East has long been devoid of Apple Stores, forcing locals to order from resellers or the gray market. Most of Apple's chain is located in North America and Europe. The company in fact has 236 stores in the US alone, and dozens in the United Kingdom.
At the Mall of the Emirates Apple Shop, shopping will primarily be limited to desktop and notebook Macs. Some accessories and software will also be available, along with help from "Mac Solutions Consultants." Buying a Mac on the 16th will earn people a 10 percent discount on all Apple products that day.