By Lubna Hamdan
Rashid Al Ghurair's 'Urban' allows users to view inspected properties online through virtual tours
Say goodbye to inconvenient viewing times, exhausting negotiations and inflexible payment solutions as Dubai entrepreneur Rashid Al Ghurair launches a mobile app that allows users to discover inspected homes and make monthly rent payments entirely online.
Al Ghurair is the founder and CEO of successful app Cafu, the first-ever fuel on-demand mobile app for cars, motorcycles and boat owners.
His most recent venture, Urban, is developed in Dubai and enables users to pay their rent in 12 monthly instalments through credit and direct debit payments instead of cheques.
It also ensures carefully inspected homes featured on the platform, where users can view virtual tours of every listed home. Tenants can then unlock smart locks using their phones and make an offer in-app, bringing transparency to negotiations and allowing paperwork-free online renting.
Urban was launched following demand for an online renting platform to ease the process of property rentals. As part of its initial phase, it will feature 200+ homes located in Dubai Marina, JBR, and Jumeirah Lake Towers, with more neighborhoods expected to come online across the city soon.
A 2019 YouGov survey commissioned by Intelligent B, the technology incubator behind Cafu and Urban, found that two thirds (66 percent) of respondents had viewed a home that did not match their expectations, while 30% faced difficulties coordinating timings with agents. Almost a third (32 percent) of Dubai residents found the current rental process stressful.
Urban also addresses the pains of landlords by helping to market their properties more attractively to qualified residents through virtual tours and convenient viewing times, allowing them to maximise returns and find and keep the right tenants through a comprehensive screening process and maintenance services.
Al Ghurair credited the UAE for encouraging entrepreneurs to push boundaries and deliver groundbreaking solutions.
“It is an incubator for technology start-ups, so we couldn’t be prouder that Urban was developed right here in Dubai,” he said.
The app is available to download for iOS and Android, while the web version can be accessed at gourban.com.For all the latest real estate news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.