Under local regulations, all businesses operating in the U.A.E. must be 51 percent owned by Emiratis or a company wholly owned by them unless they are based in free-zones. The government is working on a new foreign investment law that would allow 100 percent foreign ownership in some industries, Minister of Economy Sultan Al Mansoori said in March.
“Apple was licensed in the U.A.E. through the Ministry of Economy according to the requirements of, and in compliance with the Commercial Companies Law, as well as the ministerial resolution on foreign company branches,” Ahmad Al-Hosani, director of trade registration at the Ministry of Economy, said in an e-mailed statement to Bloomberg.
Apple's first store is said to open in Dubai this year and then a second is planned for Abu Dhabi. Previous reports have claimed the retail store in Dubai's Mall of the Emirates will be the world's largest.