Qatar is one of the wealthiest countries in not just the Middle East but the entire world. Since the country has committed to making tourism a major focus, it has brought in a number of international visitors for both pleasure and business. Many of these visitors also enjoy Qatar’s famous shopping malls. If you’re a “tech junkie” visiting Qatar, then you may be wondering if you can buy Apple products in Qatar.
Yes! Visitors and residents in Qatar are allowed to purchase Apple products at authorized resellers. If you prefer to avoid visiting a store in person, you can also order your Apple products from Apple’s online store in Qatar. With this method, they’ll ship directly to your home or address!
Although Qatar does have a bit of a reputation for restrictive laws and digital censorship, thankfully, these laws don’t extend to Apple products. In fact, Qatar is actually a huge market for Apple due to its wealthy per-capita status. In today’s post, I’m going to answer some of the most common questions about buying and using Apple devices in Qatar. Let’s take a look!
Apple Products In Qatar: The Basics
When I first visited Qatar, I had absolutely no idea what to expect. I had heard about some of the censorship laws, so I did my best to research and look up everything that I could. I knew that there are similar Islamic-governed countries where American products (like Apple) are banned, so I made sure that I was in the clear before taking my iPhone with me on the plane.
I use my iPhone for just about everything, and I knew that if I was going to find [the best Indian restaurants in Doha], that I was going to need to make use of my Apple Maps. Thankfully, Qatar has no sanctions or trade restrictions regarding the purchase and sale of Apple products.
In fact, iPhones are one of the most common devices in the country (and especially in the wealthy capital of Doha). So, that being said, let me go ahead and jump into answering the most commonly asked questions about Apple usage in Qatar.
Does Qatar Have An Apple Store?
Qatar is famous for its luxurious shopping malls and fine dining experiences. Despite this fact, however, Qatar does not have an official Apple Store. I’m not entirely sure why, but my guess is that the government wants to keep a tight grip on technology imports to ensure that no illegal or compromised technology makes its way into the country. However, you can purchase Apple products from specified authorized retailers in Qatar!
Where To Buy An iPhone In Qatar
So, that being said, where exactly can you buy an iPhone in Qatar?
If you don’t mind waiting for a couple of weeks, then you can purchase an iPhone online through Qatar’s online Apple store. You’ll pay in QR and the store will automatically apply Qatari sales taxes so that you don’t have to worry about claiming a U.S. import. Once the sale is complete, Apple will follow all regulations and ship your iPhone through Qatar’s customs.
2) Vodafone Retailer
Vodafone is Qatar’s largest cell phone service provider and cellular device retailer. So, if you’re looking for the easiest way to buy an iPhone in Qatar, then your best bet is to just visit your closest Vodafone retailer. Here, you’ll be able to purchase brand-new factory-certified iPhones and buy a service card for them at the same time.
3) Ooredoo Retailer
Ooredoo is Qatar’s second-largest cellphone service provider and also sells new iPhones. The prices are pretty much the same as Vodafone, but the two providers often compete and try to offer special discounts and coupons.
Are iPhones Cheaper In Qatar Than In The U.S.?
As Qatar is one of the richest nations in the world, you might expect to pay a pretty penny for a new iPhone. However, you’ll be glad to discover that iPhone prices in Qatar aren’t all that different from what you’d pay in the United States. Of course, you’ll pay a little bit more due to the fact that it’s an imported and taxed product, but the difference is marginal.
Where To Buy Macbook, iPod, or iPad In Qatar
If you want to purchase a Macbook, iPod, or an iPad in Qatar, then you’ll need to go through an authorized reseller (since there aren’t any official Apple Stores). You can check Apple’s Qatar site for a list of authorized resellers in the country here.
Can You Use Apple Pay In Qatar?
Although Apple Pay was never banned or illegal in Qatar, there weren’t a lot of organizations and businesses that accepted Apple Pay until recently. People just didn’t use it that often. However, the pandemic changed all of that.
However, in an effort to minimize hand-to-hand contact and possible transmission of the virus, Qatar has embraced contactless payment methods such as Apple Pay. So, the next time you’re out at one of Doha’s nightclubs, don’t hesitate to tap your phone!
Is The Internet Censored In Qatar?
Qatar’s strong government censorship laws are one of the main reasons why I had my doubts about using and buying Apple products in Qatar. Although you can buy iPhones or Macbooks in Qatar, don’t expect to have the same freedoms as you would in the U.S. or Europe.
Here the internet is very censored, so attempting to access sites that promote political propaganda, obscenity, or contain nudity (and even semi-nudity) can be a red flag. Although Doha is a relatively safe city, you don’t want to press your luck when it comes to the region’s censorship laws.
Despite Qatar’s censorship laws and technological restrictions in some areas, Apple products are 100% legal and accepted in the country. While you may not be able to walk into a traditional Apple Store, you can still purchase iPhones, Macbooks, and other Apple gear from authorized resellers or order it online from Apple’s Qatari site!