The eagerly awaited, new Apple iPad is available at a premium in the UAE, but will ship more quickly here than in the US and the UK.
New Apple iPad now available in the UAE - at twice the price
DUBAI // Apple's eagerly awaited new iPad is now available in the UAE, just days after its launch this weekend in the US and parts of Europe and Asia.
Online stores have been the first to receive imported, grey-market supplies of the tablet computer, even though it does not yet have an official release date in the Emirates.
However, as always, early shoppers in the UAE are paying a hefty premium: an imported version of the 64GB, 4G model goes for around Dh5,999 here, compared with Dh3,044 in the US.
One advantage for customers who pay the higher prices online here is that they will get the device sooner, in one or two days. The official Apple website in the US and UK state that the tablet will ship in two to three weeks from the time the order has been placed in those countries.
"We have all the models and in both colours," said Sheriff Rizwan, chief executive of the online electronics retailer ALShop.com.
"We actually had our first shipments of the new iPad on the day of release on Friday."
He said so far they had fulfilled all their pre-orders, and would now open up sales to the general public.
"We've already shipped out 250 iPads to pre-order customers, and many of them have been waiting for the last 20 days," he said.
Most of the stock has come from the UK, the US, Australia and Hong Kong, and the company had 300 iPads in stock as of this morning.
"It's been a little easier to get hold of this model because Apple actually opened up the supply not just to their own stores but also to their distribution channels," Mr Rizwan said. "We will continue to get more stock in during the course of the week. There is a premium on the prices at the moment, but we are looking to lower it as stock increases."
Demand for the new device is high, with order lines crashing on Saturday due to the number of calls from customers, he said.
Prices for the other models are Dh4,899 for the 32GB, 4G model, and Dh4,399 for the 16GB 4G.
The Wi Fi-only versions are a little cheaper but still more expensive than in the US.
A 64GB model currently costs Dh3,499 here, compared with Dh2,567 directly from Apple in North America.
The 32GB version is Dh2,799 and the 16GB is Dh2,399.
Aido.com says it currently has limited stocks of the Wi Fi-only version that range from Dh2,575 for the 16GB to Dh3,315 for the 64GB, Wi Fi model.
The group discount website Groupon has offers for the Wi Fi-only new iPad going for Dh2,298 for the 16GB; Dh2,398 for the 32GB version; and Dh2,698 for the 64GB version.