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5 Must Have Mobile Apps from the Middle East

The Middle East & North Africa (MENA) is the latest hotspot for online businesses, and with extremely high mobile broadband (wireless Internet access)penetration(over 100% in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates!), the mobile app is the dominating the buzz.

What’s more, smartphone users in the Middle East recognize a good app when they see one, and don’t mind paying for it.


Per capita mobile phone penetration


UAE Broadband penetration

UAE Users who downloaded paid apps in a 30-dayspan, UAE

In fact, even during last year’s holiday season, retailers saw tremendous growth in mobile app traffic and sales. On the very first day on the holiday shopping season, the Middle East’s largest online retailer Souq[dot]com saw a 10x increase in average daily sales, of which 40% came from the mobile app.

It’s not surprising that mobile apps are widely favored in the UAE. Even Dubai’s eGovernment department has been steadily working towards the vision of a ‘smart government’ to provide residents with information and facilities on one of the most widespread devices in the world: the mobile phone.

So which apps are the discerning users of such an evolved market using avidly? This selection of some of the most popular apps in the UAE spans across categories, and explores the ample scope apps have in making the services available to consumers at their fingertips.

1) Business in Dubai

Business in Dubai

Yes, you have an app to start and manage a business in the UAE. The Business in Dubai app, available for iPhone and iPad, has been made available by the Department of Economic Development, Government of Dubai.

With it, one can register a business, apply for license renewal, reserve/renew your trade name, obtain initial approval of licenses, and pay license fees and fines.

This is only one example from an array of apps the government has introduced for various purposes. If this can’t convince you the Kingdom is truly mobile-first, nothing will!

2) Dubai mParking

Dubai mParking

This app from the Roads & Transport Authority of Dubai has been a hit with the public due to its richness in features and usefulness.

Withits alerts about parking space availability in the vicinity, tariff payment through credit card, or notifications regarding ticket expiry, this app is as user-friendly as it can get.

3) Emirates NBD

Emirates NBD

Declaring itself as ‘the future of mobile banking’ seems believable for the Emirates NBD app.

It’s versatile—it lets customers do practically anything, from viewing account details and transactions and managing credit card and payments, to transferring cash locally or internationally.

And here are some of the cool features: get your branch queuing ticket before you reach the branch, locate nearby ATMs and branches or even take a picture on an ENBD cheque and deposit it through your phone!

4) Shop Shop Me

Shop Shop Me

If these are the years of the consumer being the king, the Shop Shop Me app is proof. In case you haven’t quite got it, this is a shopping app.

OK, but it’s much more than that. Shop Shop Me lets users search across many of the UAE’s leading online stores in one go while letting you filter by price, brand, payment method, shipping speed and more parameters.

Needless to say, Shop Shop Me has been a hit with UAE consumers.

5) The Dubai Mall

The Dubai Mall

The world’s largest mall can be overwhelming, and for tourists, it’s easy to miss the best the mall has to offer. An easily accessible solution to all is The Dubai Mall app, for iPhone and Android.

Besides interactive maps to help you with navigation, and info such as store timings, the app delivers value regarding offers and sales using beacon technology, helps you mark your parking spot and make your way back there, and share listings with friends.

These examples show that apps aren’t limited to ecommerce or gaming. Apps can offer value to various businesses, and their accessibility makes them great tools to ease the user’s experience, no matter what the concerned activity is.

What you can with an app is limited to your imagination, and the enhanced features of mobile apps such as geofencing and augmented reality can be used to suit various purposes.

Reach out to our mobile app developers and UI/UX designers to find out how an app can help your business solve real world problems and deliver delight to the customers.


About the Author

Vaibhav is a digital-marketing professional with a deep-rooted interest in everything automotive. Regular collaborations with automotive tech guys keep him apprised of all new trends in the automotive industry. Besides digital marketing, Vaibhav is fond of writing and music.

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