Buying Apple Products From Dubai


raksrules

Well-Known Member
Veteran
What prompted me to open this thread was the news about it is cheaper to buy apple iPhone 12 pro from Dubai instead of India and one can still save money. I have always before too heard about apple products being cheaper in Dubai.
Personally I have never been to Dubai but I surely want to travel in near future when the COVID is gone and hopefully things normalize. Also for last couple of days I have been watching videos on n youtube of people showing how and from where to buy iphones, Macbook etc in Dubai (not from official apple store).


So would really love to hear from people who have been to Dubai and bought stuff like this to enlighten others as where to get best deals, how to go about buying apple products in dubai, how to get VAT refund, how to avoid custom, must visit stores and anything else you may want to add.
 

letmein

Well-Known Member
Adept
Lived in UAE for more than a year (Abu Dhabi mainly). iPhone is indeed cheaper, I replaced my old 6s with a XS 256GB about 2 years ago, it was nearly 25k cheaper than in India. However, I bought it online from Souq.com (which now operates as Amazon UAE). For what it's worth, it was an Australian import piece.

I never applied for a VAT refund (since I was not on a tourist visa), but I believe the process is easy - they have set up booths at the airport where you can show your invoice and get the refund.

As for stores, Dubai Mall and Mall of the Emirates will have everything nearly every store inside them, you'll need a day to explore them (do check the aquarium as well).
 

raksrules

Well-Known Member
Veteran
Lived in UAE for more than a year (Abu Dhabi mainly). iPhone is indeed cheaper, I replaced my old 6s with a XS 256GB about 2 years ago, it was nearly 25k cheaper than in India. However, I bought it online from Souq.com (which now operates as Amazon UAE). For what it's worth, it was an Australian import piece.

I never applied for a VAT refund (since I was not on a tourist visa), but I believe the process is easy - they have set up booths at the airport where you can show your invoice and get the refund.

As for stores, Dubai Mall and Mall of the Emirates will have everything nearly every store inside them, you'll need a day to explore them (do check the aquarium as well).

When you say MOE or Dubai Mall, you mean the apple store or other stores which also sell iPhones? I checked youtube videos of city choice store in Bur Dubai / Meena Bazaar and although they say prices keep changing, I was taken aback when in one video, they quoted 3400 Dirham (70K) for latest macbook air which is 93K in India. The same maxbook was 4200 AED on Apple's UAE website. With myself being in Apple ecosystem anyways and I am planning to get macbook and iPad in future along with watch (using series 3 now) and iPhone (using 6S now), I do plan to splurge if and when I visit Dubai.
I don't think there will be customs issue if we actually throw away all the boxes and get products as if we are using it right?
 

rdst_1

Well-Known Member
Veteran
I don't think there will be customs issue if we actually throw away all the boxes and get products as if we are using it right?

It shouldn't be a problem carrying upto 2 laptops and 2 phones per person.
 

raksrules

Well-Known Member
Veteran
It shouldn't be a problem carrying upto 2 laptops and 2 phones per person.

Actually, whenever I visit, it will be as family so me + wife and 2 kids. I was planning to only take a single phone between us and nothing else (in terms of electronics) and buy the Apple Watch, Macbook, iPad, iPhones from there. I am not buying because I want to do that from Dubai, I am pushing my purchases to do so later when all these things align. I was anyways planning a vacation this year but COVID messed up everything.
 

letmein

Well-Known Member
Adept
When you say MOE or Dubai Mall, you mean the apple store or other stores which also sell iPhones? I checked youtube videos of city choice store in Bur Dubai / Meena Bazaar and although they say prices keep changing, I was taken aback when in one video, they quoted 3400 Dirham (70K) for latest macbook air which is 93K in India. The same maxbook was 4200 AED on Apple's UAE website. With myself being in Apple ecosystem anyways and I am planning to get macbook and iPad in future along with watch (using series 3 now) and iPhone (using 6S now), I do plan to splurge if and when I visit Dubai.
I don't think there will be customs issue if we actually throw away all the boxes and get products as if we are using it right?

Can't comment on Apple stores, have never bought directly from them. I guess you need to look around + online.

As for customs, I don't know where you're from, but I've never been stopped by customs in Delhi airport (original boxes were packed in my check in luggage).
 

raksrules

Well-Known Member
Veteran
Can't comment on Apple stores, have never bought directly from them. I guess you need to look around + online.

As for customs, I don't know where you're from, but I've never been stopped by customs in Delhi airport (original boxes were packed in my check in luggage).

It is matter of luck and in Mumbai, luggage including hand bags are scanned on EXIT after immigration when we go through green channel. Online I am not keep as whenever I go, it will be for 4-5 days or so, so dealing with online stuff in foreign country would be difficult.
 

vyral_143

Jarvis
Staff member
It is matter of luck and in Mumbai, luggage including hand bags are scanned on EXIT after immigration when we go through green channel.
Your check-in bag will only be scanned if it has X marked on it with a chalk. So you can transfer your stuff from your bag/hand carry luggage to check in bag without X mark after getting it. Been there, done there several times (at Mumbai T2) !
 

raksrules

Well-Known Member
Veteran
Your check-in bag will only be scanned if it has X marked on it with a chalk. So you can transfer your stuff from your bag/hand carry luggage to check in bag without X mark after getting it. Been there, done there several times (at Mumbai T2) !

Haha that X mark is very famous. I don't know how they mark so. Can't I just use a wet wipe to remove it?
 

vyral_143

Jarvis
Staff member
Haha that X mark is very famous. I don't know how they mark so. Can't I just use a wet wipe to remove it?
They mark it after X-Ray scanning those. You can try removing with a wet wipe but it does not get cleaned good enough.
 

mach9

Das Layzeemeister
Adept
What prompted me to open this thread was the news about it is cheaper to buy apple iPhone 12 pro from Dubai instead of India and one can still save money. I have always before too heard about apple products being cheaper in Dubai.
Personally I have never been to Dubai but I surely want to travel in near future when the COVID is gone and hopefully things normalize. Also for last couple of days I have been watching videos on n youtube of people showing how and from where to buy iphones, Macbook etc in Dubai (not from official apple store).


So would really love to hear from people who have been to Dubai and bought stuff like this to enlighten others as where to get best deals, how to go about buying apple products in dubai, how to get VAT refund, how to avoid custom, must visit stores and anything else you may want to add.
So I've bought all this with ZERO fuss through customs:

1. Corsair K70 LUX RGB keyboard
2. Asus GTX 1080 A8G Graphics Card
3. 2x8GB Corsair DDR4 RAM - 2 kits
4. Asus AC-88U Wifi Router
5. iPhone 8 128GB for a friend - actually I think I got a couple of phones over time on different trips..
6. Corsair ML140 LED fans

Most of the computer stuff I bought in 1 single bag in 1 trip itself - no fuss through customs.

In short usually they don't care with electronics if it's stuff for personal consumption.

With phones - if you're buying it for personal use and you open the box and keep the phone with you on your person - no stress at all.

EDIT - be advised though, if you're buying from official Apple stores in the UAE - you will get UAE SKU's and these have no facetime available. Most expats in the UAE buy unlocked SKU's from Souq (now acquired by Amazon).
 

red dragon

Justiceforall
Veteran
People in UAE don't use facetime!! Why?? That's possibly one of the very few special thing about Apple.
Basically that's the only thing I miss on Windows after leaving Mac OS after a decade!!
Looks like all VoIP services are banned in UAE!!
How do they stop it if someone uses VPN and use facetime from a Mac?
 

mach9

Das Layzeemeister
Adept
People in UAE don't use facetime!! Why?? That's possibly one of the very few special thing about Apple.
Basically that's the only thing I miss on Windows after leaving Mac OS after a decade!!

It's not that they don't use it - it's not permitted by the Govt. Same reason why whatsapp calling doesn't work and all internet traffic is heavily monitored.. plus Etisalat and Du are the only 2 major native telephone/ISP entities locally... so yeah..
 

red dragon

Justiceforall
Veteran
Had no idea about it!! Been through Dubai couple of times, never noticed it.
Little OT, but how difficult is it to smuggle DAPs and IEMs from China to Europe?
 

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