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22 May 2024

Apple finally opens its online store for UAE users

By Bindu Suresh Rai

Apple users across the UAE whooped with joy yesterday as the company finally launched its much-awaited online store in the country, allowing customers to finally buy their favourite products directly from the mother ship rather than resellers.

Users can now purchase their favourite iPad 2, the iPod touch and one day soon, even the iPhone 5 without having to pay retailers the marked up prices.

One-click ordering, free delivery on a range of products, and discounts for students and teachers are just some of the perks that customers can enjoy.

But, perhaps, what’s got the most of the people excited is the online store throwing open doors to allow for the customisation of Macs before buying and for the free engraving of iPads, iPhones and iPods prior to shipping.

“I have waited so long to purchase music on iTunes, having been forced to but gift cards from the US in bulk or persuade those with US-based credit cards to make the purchases for me,” said 22-year-old Anandhi Gupta.

While social media was abuzz with people displaying enthusiasm to finally have the liberty to make purchases, it was the pricing structure that had many excited.

Said 29-year-old Marcus Copher: “I have been in the market for an iPad 2 for a month, but the prices offered by retailers here have been nothing less than Dh2,400. If you purchase it from a dodgy reseller, with no warranty, then you might strike lucky with a price of Dh2,180.

“So it’s a boon to not only be able to purchase the original directly from apple online store, but to see the prices with the iPad 2 starting at Dh2,099 and with free shipping.”

The launch of the store, coinciding with launches in the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland, brings Apple's total tally of country-specific online stores to 38.