Hundreds of Apple superfans descended on Dubai malls on Thursday, trying to be first in line for the latest iPhone – a day before it goes on sale.
Long queues of shoppers hoping to snap up the hotly-anticipated iPhone 15 formed around the Apple Store in Dubai Mall.
Big crowds also formed at Dubai's Mall of the Emirates, with videos of the crowds shared on social media.
Apple's annual smartphone launches regularly draw frenzied interest around the world.
Hundreds started to queue in the afternoon at Dubai Mall, with the crowds swelling significantly by 7pm.
Security staff erected barriers, while guards with loud speakers urged Apple devotees to stop surging forward, before corralling them into several zones.
“It happens every time,” a cafe worker said with a smile, looking at the throngs of people. “It started hours ago.”
Some shoppers were prepared to wait overnight, while others said they were hoping to pre-book their phone and return on Friday to collect it.
The queues drew onlookers in the already jam-packed mall. Rows of people on the upper floors shot video of the Apple faithful and even took selfies.
“I will wait here until midnight,” said Rana, who was hoping to pre-order the iPhone 15 and collect it on Friday. “I am excited. Everyone is excited. I want to show off the phone to family and friends.”
Alongside Rana, his friend Zooshan said: “I need to get it now. A month from now is no good.”
He said he would update his social media with a photo as soon as he bagged the new phone.
Several shoppers said there were phone traders in the queue intent on securing the new models to resell quickly.
One shop worker, who has seen it all before, remarked: “Crazy, crazy people.”
A customer service representative at Dubai Mall said shoppers would not be allowed to camp out overnight outside the Apple store.
The mall's website states that its operates from 10am until 11pm, Monday to Thursday.
Apple unveiled four new handsets – the iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Plus, iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max – at its high-profile “Wonderlust” event, streamed from its Cupertino headquarters in California earlier this month.
Prices for the new models range from Dh3,399 for the standard 1phone 15 to Dh6,799 for the top-of-the-range iPhone 15 Pro Max.
The iPhone accounts for about 50 per cent of Apple’s sales, and the company is counting on the new model to help reverse a recent sales slide.