With countless apps now available for smartphone users, the abundance of choices has resulted in customers feeling more confused than connected.
Here, Arabian Business has listed the top ten most essential apps that can make your life in Dubai easier and more efficient.
Don’t have any loose change on hand? Then just send a text message to 7275 and pay for parking via your cell phone. The format is quite simple: first enter your licence plate number, followed by your parking zone number and finally the number of hours needed. A confirmation message is sent back to you almost immediately and a reminder for renewal is messaged to you 15 minutes before your payment time has ended.
You only have to apply online once for this service to be activated, which could be something of a nuisance, but after that, it’s an extremely easy tool to operate.
Register for the service at: www.mpark.rta.ae
2. UAE Merchant
This is a classified application designed for smartphone users to buy, sell and search listed items, including cars, real estate and furniture. You can download the app and register for free. Posting items is a simple and straightforward matter, and you can post as many ads and photos as you want.
As part of the “m-government” initiative launched recently to make more public services available on smartphones, Dubai Health Authority’s (DHA) free app allows you to find and book a doctor’s appointment.
This app not only provides a list of DHA facilities and their locations on map, but also gives driving directions to the clinic and allows customers to view lab results and appointments.
Available for iOS, BlackBerry and Android platforms, DEWA now offers an app where you can check and pay utility bills in Dubai. The app allows you to even log a complaint with a GPS location and send an instant photo of the problem if required. It also provides you with customer service office locations and contact information and offers you with tips about how to conserve electricity usage.
5. Salik Recharger
A simple application that makes recharging your SALIK account hassle-free and easy. Simply enter your account name and PIN for the first time and continue to use the app by entering the scratch card number. You can easily monitor your Salik balance, the time, date and location of Salik gates passed via this app.
6. Dubai Police
With a quick click on the icon, you can find the nearest police station from your location and check the latest news from Dubai Police. Your traffic fines and black points are also displayed on this app. The only downside is that a payment option has not been added yet, but you can always pay them online.
6. RTA Dubai
With this service, you can contact the RTA directly from your mobile device. This is a very useful app that provides information on the nearest service centre and metro or bus station location. It also facilitates the use of the mParking Service and allows you to book a taxi just by providing your name and location. Fare calculation is displayed for NoL card users along with schedules for public transport.
7. Google Maps
Google Maps is an essential GPS system for all smartphone users throughout the Gulf. With voice prompts, route options and calculated ETAs, finding locations and discovering new destinations has never been easier.
8. UAE Yellow Pages
Yellow Pages is the #1 used directory in the United Arab Emirates. Access business addresses, phone numbers, fax numbers, websites, emails and ads. Etisalat Yellow Pages, is now at your fingertips with constantly updated listings and over 1,300 categories. This app for iPhones has a user-friendly interface and can save items directly on to your contact list.
Now that Skype has been unblocked by Etisalat and du throughout the UAE, free video chats and phone calls can be made from any location via headset, speaker or even Bluetooth.
10. iTranslate Voice
iTranslate is an award-winning translation tool that helps you break down language barriers. The voice-recognition feature offers users the choice to speak instead of type. Just start speaking and the app recognises your voice, transforms it into text and translates it into another language. You can use iTranslate as a translation dictionary for more than 60 languages. The app provides a comprehensive text-to-speech capability, powered by iSpeech. You can select between a series of different dialects, choose a male or female voice and even control the speaking rate.
All of the above apps can be downloaded – for free - through the app store on your smartphone but their availability may vary depending on the operating system being used.