Apple adds movies to UAE iTunes store. Forgets to add Arabic.

By on December 16, 2012
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No Arabic language or subtitles in the local store.

Apple has been working over-time in the Middle East to not only launch the iPhone 5 but also make the iTunes music store available in the region with a healthy selection of Arabic music. Following music Apple has now also made movies available in the UAE iTunes store.

This might sound great but there are two issues that need to be sorted with movies. First, all the movies are only available in Standard Definition and not High Definition. Second and more importantly, most movies are not available in Arabic language or have subtitles in Arabic. This does not make much sense.

We checked out Disney’s latest cartoon Brave that is available on the iTunes music store in the UAE but without Arabic language or sub-titles. That same cartoon is officially available in BluRay and DVD across most video stores in Arabic language. So it’s not a matter of the content not being available in Arabic but most likely a licensing issue that desperately needs addressing.


Abbas Jaffar Ali is the founder of and a blogger, geek and self-declared tech pundit who can't stop talking about technology. Find him on twitter as @ajaffarali

  • Victor Philip Ortiz

    Completely random though. I downloaded Spider-Man 2 for example and it has all subtitles (including Arabic) but doesn’t have an English one.

    • ajaffarali

      Thanks! That one does indeed have Arabic sub-titles but I still cannot find any that has an Arabic audio track (save for the Arabic movies)

      • M. Muzammil Shaikh

        Arabic dubs aren’t done for all titles. Cost of getting these from distributors varies greatly and usually the market is too small to justify the expense.

        Personally I think it’s silly to dub a theatrical release. Documentaries are fine. Imagine those out-of-sync Chinese movies, my God the humanity!

        • Haze


        • ajaffarali

          Sure- but it works well for animated features and I think that’s what’s it’s mainly missing.

  • Magnus Nystedt

    Do you think they really “forgot” to add Arabic? Isn’t it more likely they decided to not include Arabic, for now, for some other reason?

    • ajaffarali

      Why would they launch an iTunes movie store and not have Arabic sub-titles. They do have Arabic movies there and the music store has lots of Arabic tracks. They should have waited to get the right agreements into place for Arabic.

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