iPhone 15 in UAE: Long queues of buyers at Dubai Mall; Apple store barricaded

The new model is scheduled to be launched on Friday, but hundreds thronged the store the night before release


SM Ayaz Zakir

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Published: Thu 21 Sep 2023, 8:27 PM

Last updated: Thu 21 Sep 2023, 10:58 PM

The Apple store in Dubai Mall was barricaded after hundreds of people began queuing up a day before the launch of the new model iPhone 15.

The iPhone 15 is scheduled to be launched on Friday, September 22, across several countries, including the UAE.

A security guard at the mall requested eager shoppers to come on later dates or to book online. “We are preparing for a big day tomorrow. At the moment, the store is closed for shoppers. We are making sure everyone stays safe and comfortable,” said the security guard, speaking to team KT.

Many residents were counting down hours to get their hands on the new model. Aziz Karimova, an Uzbekistan expat, reached the mall as early as 4 pm to check how he could receive his pre-booked phone. “I recently moved to Dubai and I don’t know the situation here. After seeing a few videos on social media, I made my way to the Dubai Mall,” said Karimova.

“I've been an Apple fan forever, and I managed to reserve the phone on the first day. By the looks of the crowd today, I think I must come early morning tomorrow for the phone,” added Karimova.

First revealed on September 13, the iPhone 15 has several unique features, including a 48MP Main camera and a titanium design for the iPhone Pro and Pro Max. Titanium is one of the best strength to weight ratios of any metal, making these the lightest Pro models ever.

Ahmed Sufyan, another Apple fan was among hundreds of residents who visited the mall. Though he was just visiting the mall, “the crowd made me believe that they are handing out the phones a day before,” said Sufyan, an Egyptian expat working as a marketing executive.

“I have already pre-booked and the delivery is scheduled for September 27,” said Sufyan.

The new model has generated immense buzz and excitement in the days leading up to its delivery. Residents from the Northern Emirates who were visiting Dubai are planning to stay back at relatives' places to return to the mall in the morning.

Abdul Kareem, who works at a government department in Fujairah, will spend the night at his brother’s house so that he can reach early for the new phone. “It was crazy today and it will be crazier tomorrow. I managed to reserve a phone on the first day. I am sure that people will reach the mall as early as 6am. So to beat the rush, I will be coming early to get my hands on the reserved phone,” he said.

Badr Sameer, a realtor from Lebanon, was visiting Dubai Mall and was amazed to witness the massive crowd. “It was like a festival. I often visit the mall and I have seen such crowds only during festivals,” said Badr.


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