Apple has announced that its third UAE retail shop will be a two-level store in Dubai Mall. The company marked its official foray into the Middle East market with the opening of two Apple stores in Dubai and Abu Dhabi in October 2015. In June 2016, two more Apple shops, said to be the largest in any travel retail in the world, opened in Terminal 3 of Dubai airport.
A media statement from Apple on Tuesday said the shop will be at the ‘centre of everything’. Apple website indicates it will be situated between Pucci and Jimmy Choo, beneath TGI Friday.
Apple said in the statement: “The concept is built on the essence of UAE as the Middle East’s commercial and creative hub featuring a young and bold cosmopolitan city. It would be a “meeting point for the creative-minded people” and offer views of Burj Khalifa and the Dubai Fountain.
The company already operates shops in Dubai’s Mall of the Emirates and Yas Mall in Abu Dhabi.
It also has two retail outlets for travellers in Terminal 3 at Dubai International Airport.
For now, the Dubai Mall shop is hidden behind a mural Apple says celebrates the creative community. It did not provide details on when the new store is opening.
Jobs are coming
Apple is looking to recruit new employees for its operations in the UAE, the company’s latest job listings show.
The tech giant posted 18 positions on the careers page of its official website in March, with roles ranging from store manager, inventory specialist to business manager.
Candidates being sought after are those with strong communication skills, ability to drive positive customer experiences and strong interest in technology, particularly Apple products. Some roles prefer applicants who are fluent in English, although bilingual skills have not been specified. Desired education degrees can vary from one position to another, with some roles requiring graduates of business administration, economics or engineering.
Recruitment specialists had earlier said that companies in the UAE continue to show a strong demand for new tech professionals.
Cooper & Fitch, in its February 2017 report, had said that many organisations are now moving towards cloud technology, hence the need for professionals with technical and commercial experience in the area. The introduction of value-added tax (VAT) is another key driver. The report said: “There remains a very strong talent pool of professionals in the Middle East, however, as we see developments in technology and taxation laws, there is a real demand to relocate professionals with a niche areas of expertise to the region.”
The Monster Employment Index showed that online recruitment for companies in the information and technology and telecommunications industry increased by 6 per cent in December 2016 compared to a year earlier.
The next big thing
Apple is betting big on augmented reality (AR) and is working integrating the technology to the iPhone, a recent Bloomberg stated. According to the report, which cites multiple sources familiar with Apple‘s plans, the company has built a large team of engineers—a combination of their own experts and teams that joined through acquisitions of smaller AR companies to work on both hardware and software augmented reality products and solutions.
The report claims that Mike Rockwell, who previously ran the hardware and new technologies groups at Dolby and was recruited by Apple in 2015, is leading the said AR team.
In addition, Apple has also acquired several small firms with knowledge of AR hardware, 3D gaming and virtual reality software.
The Bloomberg report highlighted that, a number of AR features will likely be integrated to the iPhone. These include the ability to change the depth of a photograph after it was taken, the ability to isolate and manipulate an object in an image, and adding virtual masks to faces, much the way Snapchat works. But it is still unknown whether the AR features will be integrated in this year’s iteration of the device.
Moreover, the company is also working on other implementations such as AR glasses, which will probably tethered to the iPhone. However, the report says the device will requires a new OS and, a new chip and possibly a powerful battery, hence, is still further down the road.
Industry reports forecast that the AR market could hit $90 billion by 2020. The technology is among those that Apple’s CEO Tim Cook has been most enthusiastic about, having likened AR’s game-changing potential to that of the smartphone.