There’s no denying that Dubai is the startup hub of the Middle East. A joint study from the Dubai Statistics Center and Dubai SME found that early stage startups comprise nearly half of all startups registered in Dubai. These same startups contribute to 47 percent of the Emirate’s economy, making them an essential facet of the local community.
Startups are important to Dubai for more than just monetary reasons. Over the years, a number of local startups have developed mobile applications that have become central to daily life for those who live there. From platforms that help with daily chores to solutions that connect neighbors, here are a few mobile apps that every Dubai resident should have on their phone:
Shopping for groceries can be a hassle for the busiest residents of Dubai. El Grocer has made this process both easier and smarter by cultivating an online marketplace of groceries with more than 40,000 items on offer. Through the startup’s mobile app, users can peruse through lists of items from their local markets at the same price as they would see in store. After making their selections and submitting their orders, El Grocer will send someone to do the shopping for them.
Whether they need to do their weekly shopping, ran out of cleaning supplies, or just need some snacks at the last minute, Dubai locals can find anything on the El Grocer app. They can even reorder items with a click of a button, so they will never run out of their favorites.
Serving both Dubai and Abu Dhabi, Washmen provides locals with an affordable way to get their clothes and linens cleaned, from pressing to dry cleaning. Through the Washmen app, customers can start orders based on what needs to be cleaned. For items that require washing and folding, they can choose the startup’s blue bag, which charges a base price for all contents. If a user wants cleaning or pressing separately, then they must pay per item.
Washmen handles all the logistics of picking up each bag of items—convenient for customers. Within one to two days, they return the items right to the client’s door.
Hoodi is building stronger communities by providing a new platform through which neighbors can connect and socialize. The app separates its users by neighborhood or building, so they can build a small social network for all their needs. Neighbors can buy and sell items, share timely updates about neighborhood goings-on, get recommendations, and much more on Hoodi.
Established in 2005, dubizzle has grown into one of the leading classified ads websites in the Middle East. Now also available as a mobile app, the platform is a one-stop shop for anyone looking for employment or a place to live in Dubai. dubizzle also facilitates the exchange of household items, allowing users to exchange unwanted goods without the hassle of going through a middleman.
Those looking to indulge in a bit of self-care can easily do so with the help of Fabogo. This beauty and wellness services app connects users to thousands of beauty salons, spas, and more across Dubai. Users can search for a business based on the type of service they would like to receive, whether they need a haircut or want to pamper themselves with a pedicure.
Fabogo has aggregated the venues into a single platform, allowing users to read reviews from others and book services with ease. Businesses can also sign up for inclusion on the app, which helps them to broaden their audience.
It can be difficult for busy professionals to maintain a tidy home, but apps like Justmop are helping Dubai residents connect with the resources that they need to get it done. The startup employs a staff of trained, thoroughly vetted maids who are available to be hired on demand.
Justmop features a diverse menu of services that range from laundry to full deep cleaning. In as little as 60 seconds, users can book an appointment with one of the startup’s maids. In many cases, they can even have someone come on the same day. After their first service, Justmop allows its customers to schedule weekly or bi-weekly appointments. This ensures that they will have a tidy home without needing to spend hours cleaning each week.
Fetchr makes it easier than ever for the residents of Dubai to make and receive deliveries. Through the startup’s app, senders and recipients alike can schedule deliveries on demand. After they input information about the item(s) in the delivery, where to pick them up, and where to drop them off, Fetchr dispatches a driver to make the delivery. If users are facilitating a sale, then these drivers can even exchange cash for them to make the process even more seamless. Senders can track their deliveries while they are in progress and get in touch with their drivers should any issue arise.