iTunes Dubai

Talks on to bring iTunes, Amazon services to UAE

Popular online services provided by Apple, Amazon and Sony could soon be available in the UAE as part of new talks with the country's Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA), it was reported on Thursday.

The TRA is in discussions with a view to allowing residents access to new services to download music, books and films.

The proposals could mean that the Apple iTunes Music Store and electronic reading devices such as the Amazon Kindle and the Sony Reader could soon be available in the UAE, The National reported.

"We are working with Amazon so they can sell the Kindle here and they can allow users in the UAE to use the [device]. The same thing with iTunes," Mohamed al Ghanim, the director general of the TRA told the paper.

"We have contacted them. We have reached an advanced stage. I hope that soon we will have it here."

While there are no fundamental roadblocks stopping their introduction in the country, sorting out the digital rights for each stakeholder could take some time, the paper added.

More than six billion songs have been downloaded since the iTunes store was launched in April 2003.

UAE internet users can currently download music through services launched by Nokia, Etisalat and Getmo, a joint venture between Abu Dhabi Media Company and Sony BMG.

While the Amazon Kindle and Sony Reader are not commercially available in the UAE, they can be bought at a number of grey-market retailers.

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