Grey imports of Apple’s iPad Air have already started selling in the UAE- just a day after it was released across 40 countries in the world. Interestingly, the premium charged on the grey imports is much less than most other Apple products. For example, the 16GB iPad Air retails for $499 in the US which is a little over 1,800 Dirhams. If you were to buy it from a retail store in the US, you would roughly pay a 10% sales tax making it close to AED 2000. Then add shipping and local taxes and you’re easily looking at over AED 2200 when the unit lands in the UAE- which could be the end of the week.
However, JadoPado has the 16GB unit selling for AED 2,149 today. The 32GB version is priced at just 400 Dirhams more- pretty much what you’d pay for in the US when you add the tax. Other websites are selling it for even lower. So the question is why would you want to buy the iPad Air from the US when you’re getting it at the same price in the UAE today.
Also worth mentioning is that Apple said that it will have plenty of stock for the iPad Air on launch which is why you’re not seeing a bigger premium attached to the iPad Air. It’s easy to get and there’s lots of them. However, the new iPad mini with retina is expected to be quite a bit short in supply so don’t expect the low premium tag to carry over to that.
Apple hasn’t announced when the iPad Air will be officially available in the Middle East.