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Apple to build WORLD'S BIGGEST iStore in Dubai

It's not the size of your shiny-shiny...

The Burj Dubai at a modest 96 stories earlier this year. Photo: Emaar

Apple is planning to build the world's biggest iStore in Dubai - marking the first time it has opened a retail store in the Middle East.

The fruity firm is looking for 26 categories of iToilers to work in the United Arab Emirates. Some 13 of these positions are for jobs in the new store.

Cupertino wants to recruit everything from shop floor staff to grandly named Geniuses, who all need to wield their "customer service brilliance and empathetic nature" as part of the corporate mission to show fanbois how to use those new fruity gizmos.

According to reports in the local press, the Apple outpost in Dubai’s Mall of the Emirates will actually be the biggest in the world. It will open in 2015 and replace a cinema complex.

The iStore will be the first ever opened in the Middle East, a region with a brand image which is as far away from the shiny, happy, ukelele-soundtracked world of Apple advertising as Earth is from Alpha Centauri.

Apple chief Tim Cook has previously travelled to the barren deserts of the UAE to meet with absolute monarch Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum. The sheikh is well known for his $4bn fortune, but perhaps a little less known for his poetry, which includes this piece of doggerel featuring a mind-reading horse.

It is not clear who decided it would be the biggest ever Apple Store built, but this is a strategy which fits perfectly with the "considerably richer than you" vibe of the nation.

Dubai's skyscrapers sprang from its barren deserts just 20 years ago. Since then, it has turned into a place where British expats are jailed for having sex in a taxi, migrant workers are worked to the bone and women are threatened with jail for the crime of being raped.

Vanity Fair memorably described Dubai as a "cautionary tale about what money can’t buy".

"Dubai is the story of the three wishes, where, as every kid knows, with the third wish you demand three more wishes," wrote A.A. Gill, who is best known as a restaurant critic for the Sunday Times. "And as every genie knows,” Gill continued, “more wishes lead to more greed, more misery, more bad credit, and much, much, much more bad taste. Dubai is Las Vegas without the showgirls, the gambling, or Elvis. Dubai is a financial Disneyland without the fun."

We'd love to see what he thinks of Cupertino. ®

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