Apple has announced that it will be reopening its retail stores in the UAE, in line with the easing of Covid-19-induced restrictions both locally and globally.
The iPhone maker had announced on March 13 that it was taking the unprecedented step of shuttering its stores outside Greater China as part of efforts to stem the spread of coronavirus. The closures were meant to originally last until March 27, but they were kept closed as the pandemic continued to spread globally.
Countries worldwide have begun to ease restrictions – some of them significantly – in the past weeks. In the UAE, Dubai’s private sector and malls started 100 per cent operations last Wednesday.
“We’re excited to begin welcoming visitors back to some of our UAE stores this Monday. We’ve missed our customers and look forward to offering our support,” an Apple spokesperson said in a statement to Khaleej Times.
“With many working and learning from home we look forward to providing the service and support they need, whether that be picking up a new product or getting help with one they already own. Our newly-reopened stores will have significant safety procedures including temperature checks, social distancing and face coverings to ensure customers and employees continue to stay healthy.”
Apple Stores’ will be operating on limited store hours, with several enhanced protocols to be enforced to maintain social distancing. While malls where Apple Stores are located – The Dubai Mall, Mall of the Emirates and Yas Mall – have their own opening hours, Apple’s retail outlets will be open from 11am to 7:30pm daily.
A series of health questions will be asked before admission and masks will be required to be worn as well. And with a limited number of people to be allowed in at any time, customers should expect to wait outside.
Today at Apple and Business Briefings, Apple’s signature community gatherings in its stores, will not be offered for now.
At present, almost 100 Apple Stores have been reopened worldwide. It is expected that more will be reopened as countries continuously loosen restriction rules.