These five apps were made especially for the Middle East region.
The increasing popularity of smartphone apps has fueled ways on how modern technology can help with everyday tasks. Here in the Middle East, there is already an increasing number of app startups that cater to all our needs.
Apple’s Developer Workshop introduced us to five locally-based app developers in the region. It also gave them the opportunity to introduce their apps and present something that would be of use to someone living in the Middle East. Here are the five app that’s worth checking out:
Developed by Afra Al Mahairy, Al Yolla brings the traditional Emirati dance in form of a game, collecting coins or throwing guns while dancing and completing levels in different levels based on real-life UAE landmarks. Its ultimate purpose is to help people understand Arabic tradition not just for the Middle East audience but also the world.
The free app also comes with iMessage stickers that brings local Emirati tradition to your conversations. Along with that, Al Yolla also has merchandise available showcasing characters from the game, including coloring books and even caps.
Founded in Bahrain in 2014 by Nezar Kadhem, Eat simplifies the way you discover and do reservations at a restaurant. Available in Bahrain, Dubai and soon in Abu Dhabi, the app’s simplified interface makes it easy to book a table without the need for any confirmation. Along with that, Eat also offers a client-side app that helps restaurants manage these reservations easily.
Since its launch last year Eat is now suppported on more than 300+ restaurants in Dubai including high-end ones like Hakkasan, La Serre and Jason Atherton’s Marina Social. It even offers a curated list of some of the best fine-dining options available in the city. The best part? A live concierge is present on the app that easily connects you to an available agent where you can easily chat and get recommendations.
Eat is free to download, and Kadhem mentioned that they are also looking to expand to other cities in the region all while maintaining the unique aspects of the service especially with new players coming into the market.
But with a lot of establishments already backing Eat, it’s safe to say that it’s one app that will have a permanent place on anyone’s smartphone.
Apps for kids are abundant, but only few manage to deliver its intended purpose. Lamsa aims to change that with their own app dedicated for kids aged 3 to 8 – not only that, its offerings are completely in Arabic, meaning that any Arabic-speaking children living on any part of the world will have access to its extensive content.
Its ultimate aim, as said by CEO and Founder Badr Ward, is to bring traditional Arabic values and traditions in a fun and engaging way. This includes interactive stories, videos and games. It needs a paid subscription to access to content, but parents who have used it say it is one of their favorite learning apps.
Lamsa’s popularity also allowed it to tie up with local and international brands to deliver localized content, including the likes of Sesame Street.
Despite being easily compared to more similar services like Netflix, Starz Play still aims to deliver the best subscription video on demand service in the Middle East and North Africa. That’s what Starz Play CCO Danny Bates told T3 Middle East – the company’s ultimate goal is to deliver premium streaming content with only one payment and with no hidden charges.
The success of the Starz Play in the region may be attributed to the fact that its entire content is subtitled in Arabic, along with local dubbing to other languages available as an extra option. Not only that, but Starz Play has also started offering 4K content much to the delight of early adopters.
Not only that, Starz Play has also managed to grab exclusive streaming rights to some of the top Hollywood companies so content from Disney, 20th Century Fox and even Warner Bros. can only be viewed on Starz Play. Not only that, the service also has some TV shows that stream day and date after their original broadcast – giving you more reasons to enjoy.
And they’ve just made all ten seasons of Friends available so what else are you waiting for?
It may seem just like another app for kids, but AppyKids aims to help your child learn through various mediums and even let parents be part of that progress. The app was founded by Dinesh Lalvani, and together with his wife Claire Lalvani, they’ve designed AppyKids to deliver a ‘smarter’ way for your children to learn using their apps.
To date they’ve already released 16 interactive apps and has garnered more than three million downloads, making it one of the top apps made for children. AppyKids’ content will also work with their own line of Appy Toys and Smart Flash Cards – this would allow another level of interactivity.
Accessing of the content for AppyKids would require an in-app purchase but for an app that aims to ‘educate, entertain and empower’ your children, we think every dirham is worth it.