Apple launches iTunes Gift Cards in UAE; world’s largest Apple Store next?

Just in time for the gifting festival of Diwali, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has finally launched the much-awaited iTunes Gift Cards in the UAE through at least three retailers.

The cards are available in three denominations - Dh100, Dh250 and Dh500, said Apple representatives, and are available for purchase at iSTYLE, Sharaf DG and Carrefour hypermarkets in the UAE.

The gift cards allow users to not only purchase apps, games, music, films and more through iTunes, but as their names suggest they can also be gifted as they work just like gift certificates.

They provide prepaid credit in various amounts that can be redeemed on the iTunes Store from the users’ computer, Mac, iPhone, iPad or iPod touch, and since no credit card is required, it makes for an ideal gift for kids.

iTunes Gift Cards indeed offer a safer way to allow kids to purchase their favourite music, films, games and apps instead of sharing one’s credit card details with them. Redemption of the cards is easy too, and can also be done by simply taking a photo of the PIN code on the card using the camera of one’s Mac or an iOS device.

In addition, the gift card will also come handy for tourists from countries where an iTunes store is not available. Such visitors can download items they want with the cards when they are in the UAE. However, their Apple devices – iPhones, iPads, iPods and Macs – will need to be physically located in the UAE.

The move also signals Apple’s heightened interest in the region, with Dubai rumoured to play host to the world’s largest Apple Store soon. The UAE is best placed to become Apple’s regional headquarters, and the tech giant already has an office at the Business Bay Downtown in Dubai.

The company had, in August this year, advertised to fill up a host of positions for its upcoming store in the country. Online ads were placed for 26 retail and office positions including Facilities Manager for Middle East, Turkey and Africa; Senior Managing Producer, Channel – Middle East; UAE- Manager, UAE – Business Specialist, and UAE store leader.

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