Some queued through the night, others slept in their cars as Dubai Mall became the go-to place for Apple super fans on their annual trek to buy the latest iPhone.
There may seem little difference in the iPhone 14 than previous incarnations of Apple’s signature product, yet shoppers were still prepared to hand over bundles of cash and queue for hours to be among the first owners.
One of those was Dr Mohannad K, 37, from Lebanon who has lived in Dubai for more than 30 years.
The dentist waited patiently in a long queue after arriving at the mall at around 4.30am.
“I pre-ordered the iPhone and turned up at the mall at 4.30am,” he said.
“I have owned every iPhone since its launch, and used to import the early models from America.
“I have my bag with Dh22,000 in cash ready to buy some new tech. I already have the latest Apple Watch and TV.
“The purple colour was the one I wanted. I arrived extra early, but the security would not let me in so I had to sleep in my car.
“By 6.30am, everyone was queuing already so I had to run to make the line. It was a big rush at 7am.”
The latest devices are equipped with the Apple’s much-awaited satellite technology, and in the case of the iPhone 14 Pro, the new A16 bionic chip, which Apple claims is the fastest chip ever in a smartphone.
The iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus models start from $799 (Dh3,399) and $899 (Dh3,799), respectively, while the iPhone 14 Pro costs $999 (Dh4,299) and the iPhone 14 Pro Max starts at $1,099 (Dh4,699). Trade-in will be available at Apple stores.
First to get through the doors of Apple’s flagship store in Dubai Mall was Abdul Rafeeque, a 37-year-old IT manager who spent Dh25,000 on six iPhones to send back to his family in India.
“When I found out I had an appointment to buy the phone I was so happy,” he said.
“I have tried every year and this was the first year I have got a spot. I use all the Apple products, so I wanted to be in the front of the queue.
“I work in IT, but I need the new phone to get the better camera and the big screen. I love photographer and I have 75,000 photos.”
Mr Rafeeque has documented each of his new purchases on their release day of the latest iPhone since 2016.
“You can tell be the images that the camera has got better each year,” he said.
“I woke up at 4.30am, did all my work preparations and had breakfast then came down here.
“I tried to get the Pro Max as I need it for my cryptocurrency trading as it has a much better battery life.
“The other phones are for my family.”