Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large
Apple is finally set to launch iTunes in the UAE.
Apple is finally set to launch iTunes in the UAE.

Muted response as iTunes finally launches in UAE

After a nine-year wait, people in the UAE can download music from Apple's iTunes Store - but will it be a hit?

DUBAI // Music fans are finally able to buy albums and songs from Apple’s iTunes Store, following yesterday’s launch of the service in the UAE and other Arabian Gulf countries.

It comes more than nine years after the online music store opened in the US.

However, customers in the region still will not be able purchase movies or TV shows, which users in the US and many other countries have been able to do for years.

A selection of classic books can be downloaded for free, but paid-for titles are not available.

Apple announced the launch on its UAE website, saying: “The iTunes Store has arrived. Now you can shop at the world’s No 1 music store.”

Users in the Gulf were previously able to buy and download apps through iTunes, but not songs.

The UAE was one of more than 50 countries in which the music service was launched yesterday, including Saudi Arabia, Oman, Bahrain and India. It can be accessed using Apple devices or PCs.

The UAE store offers a mixture of Arab and western music. The Lebanese singer, Nancy Ajram, is among the artists showcased on the home page, while others whose work is available include Fairuz, Khaled Fuad and Melhem Zein.
Western artists featured include Rihanna, Swedish House Mafia and Bruno Mars.

The cost of albums varies, with some priced at Dh17.99, some at Dh22.99 and others at Dh27.99. Individual songs cost Dh4.49 each. Both new releases and older material is available.

The launch follows a major redesign of iTunes, the Apple software used to store, organise and play music.

Reaction on Twitter was muted. Amarjeet Kapoor tweeted: “So UAE gets iTunes store too but limited stuff. Why am I not surprised?” A user called Ms Castle said simply: “This iTunes UAE store is sad.”

csimpson@thenational.ae

Back to the top

More articles


Editor's Picks

 Ali Benflis, opposition leader and main rival to Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika speaks to the press after casting his vote in the presidential elections at a polling station in Algiers on. Former prime minister Benflis ran against Bouteflika in 2004 but lost heavily, charging the vote was rigged 10 years ago and has said fraud will be his ‘main adversary’ during the election. Patrick Baz / AFP Photo

Best photography from around the world, April 17

The National View's photo editors pick the best images of the day from around the world.

 Above, the private pool of Ocean Heights' five-bedroom penthouse flat. Courtesy Christie’s International Real Estate

In pictures: Penthouse flat is height of Dubai luxury living

A five-bedroom penthouse in Ocean Heights in Dubai Marina is on sale for Dh25 million and comes with a private pool and an unparalleled view of Dubai.

Video: Local reactions to a national fishing ban

A federal fishing ban has been imposed by the UAE federal government, but local authorities are taking diiferent approaches to implementing the ban. Two fishermen tell two very different sides of the story. Produced by Paul O'Driscoll

 Southampton owner Katharina Liebherr is pictured before the Premier League match between Southampton and Liverpool at St Mary's Stadium in Southampton, southern England, on March 1, 2014. Glyn Kirk / AFP

New Southampton owner leading club’s resurgence from the shadows

Katharina Liebherr keeping with family tradition and letting others dominate the spotlight

 The new Bentley GT Speed convertible on display at a press event of the New York International Auto Show. Jason Szenes / EPA

In pictures: Hot cars at New York International Auto Show

With more than 1 million visitors annually, the New York International Auto Show is one of the most important shows for the US car industry. Here are some of the vehicles to be shown in this year’s edition.

 The cast of Fast & Furious 7, including Michelle Rodriguez and Vin Diesel, centre, on set at Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi. Jeffrey E Biteng / The National

Fast & Furious 7 filming in full swing at Emirates Palace

Filming for Fast & Furious 7 has started and we have the first photos of the cast and crew on set at Emirates Palace hotel this morning. Visitors staying at Emirates Palace say they have been kept away from certain areas in the grounds.

Events

To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National