Apple CEO Tim Cook's surprise visit to Dubai store

In 2014, Cook visited the UAE and met with the rulers as well as top officials from telecom giant Etisalat. (Twitter)

Shoppers at the Apple store in Mall Of The Emirates, Dubai, were in for a pleasant surprise Saturday when Apple CEO Tim Cook paid a surprise visit to the store.

Cook was in the store for a very short time, interacting with the Apple team and happily posing for selfies with stunned customers.

The Apple Inc chief tweeted about his visit: "A quick visit with customers and our fantastic team at the Apple Store, Mall of the Emirates. Thanks Dubai!"

Tim Cook/Twitter

Word of his visit quickly spread on social media along with the pictures.

This is Cook's second visit to the UAE, since 2014, when he had met the UAE rulers as well as top officials from telecom giant Etisalat.

Cook was on his way back to the US after his trip to China and India.

Tim Cook/Twitter

In India

He concluded a four-day trip to India, where the American even watched a cricket match. His India visit could set the stage for Apple's expansion plans in one of the world's fastest-growing smartphone markets.

Apple is looking to expand its retail presence in India and is pursuing a license to set up its own stores, which could open as early as next year.

The Apple boss has spent several days in India after jetting in from China, in a visit seen as an extended Asia charm offensive.

He has announced investments including an app design centre in the southern technology hub of Bangalore and a mapping development office in Hyderabad.

In China

During his trip to China, Cook announced Apple had invested $1 billion in Chinese ride-hailing app Didi Chuxing, rival of US-based Uber.

Cook met with China's main Internet and telecommunications regulator this week during his visit to Beijing.

Apple has been at the centre of a debate on the role technology companies play in protecting data that led to a much-publicised dispute between Apple and the FBI over a phone linked to a shooting in San Bernardino, California.

In April, Apple reported its first drop in global iPhone sales since launching the smartphone in 2007.