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In the next few weeks I'm due to fly out to the UAE to take up a job in Abu Dhabi. With my wife and children staying behind in thr UK until late August I need to look into a phone and instant messaging app to keep in contact with the UK.

Question is iPhone and instant messaging app or Blackberry and BBM? I'm fairly well up on iPhones but on a recent trip to Abu Dhabi, everyone seemed to be using blackberrys.

Is BBM like any other instant messaging app?

Thanks
 

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In the next few weeks I'm due to fly out to the UAE to take up a job in Abu Dhabi. With my wife and children staying behind in thr UK until late August I need to look into a phone and instant messaging app to keep in contact with the UK.

Question is iPhone and instant messaging app or Blackberry and BBM? I'm fairly well up on iPhones but on a recent trip to Abu Dhabi, everyone seemed to be using blackberrys.

Is BBM like any other instant messaging app?

Thanks
Isn't that a question of what features would you want in your phone and probably the value for money you'd get? Most of the people I've come across have two phones - an iPhone and a Blackberry :)

BBM is really popular here. Yes it is like any other IM app but can be used only on Blackberrys, so you can use BBM to communicate only with someone who has a Blackberry. Just like iMessage on iPhone.

I'd say if your wife already has an iPhone, best to use the iPhone here to as you can use iMessage and if you're getting your iPhone from the UK I believe you'd also be able to use Facetime to videochat.
 

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To contact the other phone, you can always use a cross platform app like whats app.
 

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Just curious,

I am also moving to Abu Dhabi in the next month or so and was wondering how much phones cost there? The actual phone and then the service?

What's the difference in cost between an iphone and a blackberry for example?

Thanks,
Sarah
 

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Just curious,

I am also moving to Abu Dhabi in the next month or so and was wondering how much phones cost there? The actual phone and then the service?

What's the difference in cost between an iphone and a blackberry for example?

Thanks,
Sarah
I think the phones (unlocked/without contract) cost almost the same as in the US. Though there are contract options also available, they are nowhere to what you can typically get in US with regards with phone options and the prices.

Cheapest iPhone can be bought online from Apple store for 2600 AED (approx $700), I think the cost of BB will obviously depend on the model, like the BB curve range is cheaper than BB bold range.

There are only two service providers here - Etisalat and du and both have very similar choices available. Both are very similar again in terms of service area coverage etc, the difference being that du charges by the second and the internet filter (yes there in internet filtering here :)) of du is less stricter as compared with etisalat.

Check out the sites for more details on their plans etc - Welcome to Etisalat, du | Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company

Hope this helps!
 

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I have the Skype app on our iPhones - free video chat/chat/or voice calls Uk/UAE!!!!
Yeah that's what I use too :)

But just to point out to other people, skype to skype calls work ok, but calls from skype to phone numbers is blocked. Though there are other VoIP services which work ok!
 

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I know you guys are mostly talking cell phones, but just curious if anyone has info on devices such as magic jack to make international class occasionally. Just know this is what has been common practice for troops calling home. Just trying to find out if this is a feasible option for calls between my wife and my mother-in-law, which could be about 3-5 times a week.
 

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Magic jack works fine.

Phones here are more expensive. I am forever purchasing phones from the usa for people here.... As is 100$ to 200$ less for a similar priced high end blackberry or iphone from there.
 

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HI,

I brought my Magic Jack from the States. Initially it did not work at all. Would not connect. When I did get it to finally work, It worked pretty good for a Magic Jack but after a couple of days it is now so choppy it is unusable. The Magic Jack serivce was blocked and so was my Palais Royal account.
 

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I didnt know at the time... by magic jack doesnt work with etisilat. Our buildings we are in are serviced by du and other people it works fine for calls back home.

I just use the work around and use skype. Recently started using oovoo as seems to eat up less bandwith and/or just works better.
 
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