On June 11, 2019, Amazon Prime was finally launched in UAE. Please read my first impressions of the much awaited service. At that time, I had promised a full review of Amazon Prime. After using the service for more than a month, I am confident of writing one.
There are three key features of Amazon Prime that I would like to review
- Free next day delivery for Prime eligible products
- Free international shipping for Prime eligible products (orders above AED 100)
- Subscription to Prime Video
Let us dive in.
FREE NEXT-DAY DELIVERY ON ALL ELIGIBLE ITEMS
Without a doubt, this is the most important benefit. Amazon’s earlier avatar, Souq.com, charged AED 10 for delivery even on eligible items if order size was below AED 100.
I will also make a price comparison against El Grocer, which is an aggregator for various supermarkets in UAE.
Do not get me wrong here. Shopping on Amazon is probably cheaper than your neighborhood supermarket. But, it may not be the cheapest option. I am sure there are large hypermarkets far off from your home that sells these products on bulk for a cheaper price. However, there are some advantages shopping from Amazon using Prime
- Free delivery
- Same day or next day delivery means you do not need to plan for a week or a month
- No minimum order
- No need to buy in bulk
At the same time, I wish more sellers and products are added to Prime. The list at the moment is quite small.
FREE INTERNATIONAL DELIVERY ON ORDERS OVER AED 100 FROM AMAZON US
When I first saw this feature, I was excited. This looked like a big deal. I will tell you why.
UAE has minimal custom duties on most products. If you take out shipping costs, it means you can get products at prices similar to those in USA. I am happy to say, I was not disappointed.
A few days back, I had ordered this
The cost of this was AED 122 including custom duties. Shipping was free. Incidentally, this product was also available from a local seller.
Did you see the difference in price? Obviously, the international shipment will take 1-2 weeks to arrive. But at that price, I am happy to wait.
Amazon Prime also comes with Amazon’s own streaming service Prime Video. If you are not a Prime member, you can get one month of free subscription.
Like Netflix, the content can be divided into two categories – Amazon’s own content and external content.
For the former, you get all the original content produced by Amazon – whether it is from US, India or any other place. This includes all the latest episodes of Too Old to Die Young (premiered in June 2019), Homecoming, Good Omens etc.
You also get a lot of Indian original content. I would particularly recommend Mirzapur if you are a fan of crime drama.
I have mixed feelings about the external content. Once again, I see a lot of content produced in India (Bollywood or regional languages). In fact, I see some movies which were released recently.
However, other than this, the content is a bit limited. There is still a whole lot to choose from. It is just that I did not find much to my liking.
At AED 12 per month, Amazon Prime subscription is a must-have for me.
The convenience offered by free next-day delivery is great. With free US shipping, there are some great steals to be had. And Amazon Prime Video, while not a match for Netflix (yet) has some good content.
What do you think of Amazon Prime? Let us know in comments below.