There are many Apple device users in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the entire Middle East.
Apple offers a broad range of devices from the iPhone to the iPad, to the Watch and their Macs, and others.
But, there are 4 things you may not have known about Apple Stores in UAE.
1) The 3 Apple Stores in UAE serve the entire Middle East, Africa and the Indian Subcontinent
There are 3 Apple Stores in UAE (2 in Dubai, and 1 in Abu Dhabi)
- Apple Store, Dubai Mall (if you purchase anything at the Dubai Mall over 100 AED, don’t forget to get additional Emirates Skywards points.
- Apple Store, Mall of the Emirates, Dubai
- Apple Store, Yas Mall, Abu Dhabi
But wait, why are these stores always crowded like crazy? Is that because these are the only stores in the country?. See the picture below to see all the countries where Apple Stores are located (as of early 2019).
Wait, I don’t see any other Middle Eastern country or any African country in there. Wait, I don’t even see any country from the most densely populated region – the Indian Subcontinent (India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Afghanistan). Neither can I see Iran or Iraq in the list.
2) Repair Times are at a minimum of 1 day
Given that Apple Stores serve such a vast geographic region, it’s a given that they’ll be flocked with repairs and replacement requests. I had a crack on my Apple iPhone screen, and it normally takes a few hours to fix and repair in the US, but it takes at least 24 hours for minor repairs in the UAE. And it’s mainly due to the flurry of repair requests they receive from the whole region.
An Apple representative did however mention that in some cases, if you give your phone by 10am, you may get it the same day. But getting an appointment online is also not easy. The earliest appointment times on an average are typically 2-3 days away with afternoon-evening slots mainly available.
Note: Apple does have many Apple certified repair stores in UAE, which offer same-day repairs.
3) You won’t get a loaner phone if you submit your phone for repair
Say your iPhone needs s a major repair. If you’re coming from the US or UK, you may be used to the fact that you get a loaner phone when you submit your iPhone for a major repair that could take a week or so. But given the tourist influx and transient nature of this region, Apple has no loaner phone policy. Which means, you may be without a phone or use another phone that you have lying around once you submit your iPhone here for repairs.
4) FaceTime won’t be supported on your iPhone or Apple Watch
If you didn’t know already, FaceTime is banned in UAE. For Apple to sell their products in UAE, they have to comply with the local laws. For compliance, Apple has actually disabled FaceTime for all their products sold in UAE.
What this means is that if you purchase your swanky new iPhone in one of the Apple Stores in UAE, it won’t support FaceTime even when you go back to your home country. Note, that this even applies to replacements. So, if you bought your iPhone in the US or elsewhere, and it was under AppleCare and it needed to be replaced while you’re traveling to Dubai, your new replacement iPhone will not support FaceTime.
Are you an Apple fan? What did you wish your local Apple store would provide that you miss from your home country?
Let us know in the comments.