Apple is said to be planning to build two retail stores in the United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.) after reportedly gaining an expemption from the country's ownership laws. The exemption would allow Apple to retain complete control of their U.A.E. operations. The company is apparently planning to build its first store in the country in Dubai, according to Bloomberg:
The dispensation was a condition for the world's largest listed company to set up in the U.A.E., the people said, asking not to be identified as the plans are private. Apple will open its first Middle East store in Dubai this year and then Abu Dhabi after securing the privileges, according to the people.
Normally, businesses operating in the U.A.E. must be at least 51% owned by Emirati citizens, though the government is apparently working on a law that would allow foreign companies in certain industries to retain 100% control without needing an exemption.