8 awesome apps to make life in Dubai easier
Convenience is king in Dubai. Craving McDonald’s at midnight? Don’t worry, they deliver. Need your car cleaned? That’s easily sorted. Add in one of the highest smartphone penetration rates in the world – and the government’s push to become a “smart city” – and it’s no wonder the market for apps is booming.
The lack of street addresses in the UAE means getting things delivered can be frustrating. This clever app uses your phone’s GPS coordinates to allow drivers to pinpoint your exact location – no address required. Schedule a pick-up or delivery (from AED30), track your package and pay for goods, or Fetchr couriers can even collect or pay cash on your behalf.
Free, iTunes/Android, www.fetchr.us
Beyoncé isn't the only one with bills, bills, bills. Register your details, including a locally issued credit card, and pay all your Dubai government and utility bills in one place. This simple app also allows you to pay traffic fines, recharge your Salik and Nol accounts and even donate money to charity.
Free, iTunes/Android, www.mpay.dubai.ae
Using just one litre of water, this eco-friendly firm uses steam to clean your car, removing dirt, germs and dust particles inside and out. Book and pay for the service you need (from AED130) and the app will find your GPS location and send a mobile team to you, whether you’re at work, home or out and about.
Free, iTunes/Android, www.greensteamgcc.com
No time to wash your socks? This e-laundry app offers next-day delivery, in-app payment and a 30-minute window for pick-ups and drop-offs. Currently available in Business Bay, DIFC, Downtown, Sheikh Zayed, Palm Jumeriah, JLT and Dubai Marina, prices start at AED8 to wash or dry-clean a shirt.
Free, iTunes/Android, www.washmen.com
Like its international competitor Uber, this Dubai-based car-booking app has totally revolutionised how we get around town. The app will locate you using GPS and you can follow your driver’s progress on the map until you get an SMS confirming he’s arrived. Pay with cash, or credit via the app, and even book a car with a pre-installed child seat.
Free, iTunes/Android, www.careem.com
Inspired by Carpool Karaoke? This Dubai-based ride-sharing app connects drivers with empty seats to passengers looking for a ride. Commuters need to be within a 15-minute radius of each other and drivers have the option to decline. Passengers pay a contribution, which works out around four times cheaper than a cab.
Free, iTunes/Android, www.carpoolarabia.com
Navigating your way around Dubai can be tricky, but Makani helps you find a building or location with square-metre precision, thanks to a unique 10-digit number assigned to every site. Currently being rolled out across the UAE, you can search by number, place name or dropped pin and get directions for walking, driving or using public transport.
Free, iTunes/Android, www.makani.ae
RTA Smart Parking
Gone are the days of scrambling around for coins to feed the parking meter. This app lets you pay for parking across Dubai – without the 30 fils SMS charge. Simply top up your account using a credit card, hit pay, and the app will detect your parking zone using your phone’s GPS.