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Dubai Apple Store opening pushed back to at least October, report claims

The launch of a Dubai Apple Store —the company's first in the United Arab Emirates and the Middle East, outside of Turkey —is being delayed by at least a month, a report said on Thursday.




The shop was most recently expected to open towards the end of September, but now won't open until October or later, sources remarked to regional English-language publication The National. A May rumor suggested an August opening.

The outlet is still expected to be based in the Mall of the Emirates. The National added though that Apple is not only working on another store in Abu Dhabi, but a second Dubai location, the latter in the Dubai Mall.

On Wednesday, a report said that the UAE bowed to pressure and made an exemption in its foreign ownership laws, allowing Apple to set up retail stores under its own terms. Without the exemption, Apple would have had to ensure that at least 51 percent of its local branch was owned by Emiratis.

Apple's runaway financial success in the past few years has allowed it to build stores in countries it previously left untapped, Turkey being a recent example. The company is also expected to open first Belgian store as soon as Sept. 19.