There is no doubting the United Arab Emirates’ status as one of the biggest entrepreneurial hubs in the Middle East. Within this thriving scene are a growing number of technology startups that are taking consumers by storm due to their exciting innovations and groundbreaking services.
The sector can attribute its growth to the numerous economic free zones and venture capital firms within the UAE, particularly in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. With resources such as these available, technology entrepreneurs will only continue to bring new startups to the region.
The current community of tech startups in the UAE specializes in everything from app development to business services. Read on to explore a few of the UAE-based startups that you should be watching right now:
Serving nearly 100,000 users across the UAE, Bebuzzd is revolutionizing customer loyalty for both consumers and businesses alike. The startup regularly works with companies in nearly every industry, providing an avenue through which they can increase their business.
Through its online interface, Bebuzzd allows businesses to create a customer loyalty program that best fits their needs. Whether they are looking to entice new clients with exciting deals or encourage existing customers to refer their friends, businesses gain the opportunity to engage consumers in dynamic ways. The Bebuzzd platform can connect with nearly any point-of-sales system, making it easier for businesses to implement their new loyalty programs.
Consumers can also enjoy a number of benefits by using Bebuzzd as they shop. Not only do the loyalty programs facilitated by Bebuzzd allow customers to access exclusive coupons for their favorite hotspots, but they are also able to earn points for each visit. This innovative rewards system thus results in greater savings and encourages repeat business.
Based in Dubai, Shedul is helping to simplify the appointment-booking process for beauty and wellness specialists around the globe. The startup has created an innovative digital scheduling program that makes it easier for users to operate their businesses.
Shedul’s online interface comes with more than just scheduling services, however. Using the client management feature, business owners can gain a comprehensive view of their customers’ past and future appointments, as well as analyze their service preferences. In addition, salon owners can deploy electronic reminders to keep their clients up-to-date with upcoming appointments. Shedul can even enable businesses to take appointment bookings directly through their websites and social media accounts. These services are available free of charge to the startup’s customer base of nearly 200,000 hair salons, personal trainers, acupuncturists, and more.
Entrepreneurs Davinder Rao and Ravi Bhusari established their startup, Duplays, after failing to find a way to connect with other recreational sports players in Dubai. Since starting with a small group of 20 friends in 2007, the company has grown to serve more than 100,000 members of all ages and nationalities. On a weekly basis, around 5,000 of these individuals play in one of Duplays’ recreational sports leagues. Those who are looking to become more active can use the site to look through the list of available leagues and find one nearby.
Duplays also features a booking portal through which its members can reserve time to play at local sporting venues. In addition to its services for individual members, the startup regularly collaborates with companies that are looking to host branding events for customer outreach and team-building activities for employees.
Available to consumers in the UAE and several Middle Eastern cities, ServiceMarket is making it easier to get help with home services. Through the site, individuals can connect with trustworthy companies that specialize in common services such as air conditioning repair and home cleaning. Focusing on a total of 25 service fields, ServiceMarket can also help users find car insurance, event caterers, and movers. All users can ask for a quote and read company reviews before booking the service they need, which helps them find the right contractor for their budget.
ServiceMarket can also provide a number of unique benefits to business owners. Those who become partners with the startup gain the opportunity to market to new customer segments in their area and receive feedback.
Since its inception in 2008, Apphitect has become the top mobile application developer in the UAE. In the past nine years, the startup has assisted in the creation of more than 600 apps for clients around the world. Apphitect’s diverse portfolio includes mobile apps for banking institutions, restaurant chains, and healthcare providers. The startup has also branched out into emerging technologies such as wearables and augmented reality, which enables the company to better serve its clients.
Focusing on both Android and iOS platforms, Apphitect works hand in hand with its clients to design applications that will fit their business needs. The startup’s development team then takes on the task of coding each app in a way that will ensure both stability and ease of use. At its Dubai-based lab, Apphitect puts the finished design through several rounds of testing. This step allows the startup to determine how its apps will function on different devices and in unique user situations.