If you’ve recently moved to the Emirates, get everything you need at the touch of a button with these top 10 must-have apps in the UAE.
Moving to a new place can be challenging, but living in the UAE is about to get a whole lot easier. Whether you need food in a hurry or simply want to find out the fastest way to get from Al Ain to Abu Dhabi, the best UAE apps will help you live your best desert life, no matter which of the seven emirates you’re in.
1. UAE Pass
Getting your head around admin in your new Emirati home can be a challenge. However, you can make things a lot easier by downloading the UAE Pass app. The UAE Pass allows you to sign in to all government websites and services through a single mobile-based login. The app will help you complete a range of tasks including paying utility bills with the likes of Etihad Water & Electricity and Emirates Post or filing or extending visa applications.
To get access to this handy, time-saving app you’ll need to download it to your phone and scan your original Emirates ID to start the verification process. Once this is done, you’ll be prompted to add a pin number. For the final part of the verification, you’ll need to find a UAE Pass kiosk where you can scan your fingerprints and gain your credentials.
Other must-have government apps in the UAE are:
- Dubai Police – for paying fines and reporting crimes in Dubai
Looking to buy a car in Abu Dhabi? Need to rent your apartment in Al Ain? On the hunt for second-hand electronics in Dubai? Then you’ll need to download one of the many apps in the UAE that specialize in the buying and selling of secondhand goods, such as Dubizzle. The app is the country’s leading free classifieds hub, making it easy for you to buy and sell across all seven emirates.
Whether you’re looking to furnish your new apartment in pre-loved goods or maybe you need to sell those toys that the kids have grown out of, this is your one-stop-shop. And that’s not all. The app also has a job board and a community section for various services like home repairs, tutor services, and movers.
Other must-have classifieds apps in the UAE are:
3. DHA (Dubai Health Authority)
If you’re relocating to the UAE, you’ll be pleased to know the country has a well-funded, accessible healthcare system. However, while understanding the local healthcare system in the UAE can be confusing for new arrivals, there are a few apps that can make things easier. If you’re living in Dubai, one of these is the DHA app, from the Dubai Health Authority.
Available in both English and Arabic, the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) app gives you access to local medical services. Here Dubai residents can manage their health appointments, check lab results, review Medical Fitness Application status, and even volunteer to donate blood. COVID vaccinations and boosters can also be booked through the app.
Other useful health and wellbeing apps in the UAE are:
- Al Hosn UAE – official app for COVID-19 testing
If you’re a new arrival to the UAE, you’ll certainly enjoy getting your teeth stuck into the local cuisine. However, if the thought of cooking is all too much for you after a long day at work then have a scroll through Deliveroo. You’ll find cuisine from across the globe at your fingertips, and there’ll be something for everyone: from Thai to Indian, American to Egyptian.
Once you’ve downloaded the app and inputted your credit card and address, you’re good to go. Simply make your order and then sit back and wait until it gets delivered to your door, plus you can even track where your food is along its journey. The app works with restaurants in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Al-Ain, and Ajman.
Other must-have food delivery apps in the UAE are:
5. RTA (Dubai) and DARB (Abu Dhabi)
Knowing how to get from A to B in a new home is always a challenge, and the UAE is no exception. For those living in Dubai, the RTA app is definitely a must-have download. The app is for anyone using public transportation or driving in Dubai, with a host of journey planning, maps, timetables, and more. You can also renew your vehicle’s registration and your driving license, as well as find a parking space when you need one. You can even top up your Nol transit card directly, so you’ll never be left stranded.
If you’re based in Abu Dhabi, you’ll want to download DARB. This app will give you your best route for where you need to go, whether you’re on foot, looking for public transport, or taking your own vehicle. Vehicle owners can also handle registrations, traffic fines, and challenge any parking infringements through the app directly.
Other must-have transportation apps in the UAE are:
- Careem – book a lift with this ride-hailing app available across all seven emirates
- Uber – ride-hailing made easy (only available in Dubai and Abu Dhabi)
6. The Entertainer
In a country famed for its lavish brunches and gold leaf-adorned afternoon teas, finding a discount on things to do is always welcomed. The Entertainer app is what you need for when you’re looking to get savings on a spa treatment or to save dirhams off your next Michelin-starred dinner.
Starting from just AED 415 per year for the Classic membership, you’ll enjoy ‘buy one get one free’ at Dubai Hills Golf Club, discounts on yacht charters with Bristol Charters, and even specials on staycations at luxe hotels like Andaz Dubai The Palm. Currently, the app has offers across Abu Dhabi, Dubai, and Al Ain.
Other must-have discount apps in the UAE include:
- Groupon – find discounts on things to do (available in Dubai)
- The Discounter App – enjoy deals at restaurants and hotels (available in Dubai)
These days, it can seem like there are delivery services for everything. One of the most popular among the many expats living and working in the UAE is Instashop. Available across Abu Dhabi, Dubai, and Sharjah, the easy-to-use app is known for its speedy delivery (expect your order in around 45 minutes).
Simply find a supermarket nearby, select your items, and delivery will be free over a certain amount. You can pay for your goods online with your credit card or in cash when your delivery arrives, so it’s the perfect solution for when you forgot some items or if you just want to dodge the crowds. You can also order a range of other goods through the app, including pet supplies, flowers, cosmetics, and even products from the pharmacy.
Other grocery delivery apps in the UAE include:
- Trolley.ae – get a selection of fresh and frozen goods delivered to your door
- El Grocer – order home delivered goods from international, local, and organic grocery stores near you
Sunseekers, families, and fitness fans will love the benefits of Privelee. Touted as the UAE’s ultimate lifestyle membership, the app gives you access to some of the best beach clubs and pools, including The St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort, Abu Dhabi, and Anantara The Palm, Dubai.
For a one-month membership, you’ll pay AED 1,599, and along with the beach clubs, you’ll get access to a number of five-star gyms, and discounts at golf clubs, tennis clubs, restaurants, and hotels throughout the UAE. While each adult will need to pay for their own membership, up to three children can enjoy a day at the beach with each member for free.
Other lifestyle membership apps in the UAE:
- Select app – for access to five-star pools, clubs, and hotels across the UAE
- L’invité – get invites to private networking events and entry to luxe hospitality and leisure services
9. Muslim Pro
Muslim Pro is a useful app that sends an audio or silent notification whenever it’s time to pray in the United Arab Emirates. Along with listing the prayer times, it also has a Qibla compass feature to give you the correct prayer direction and includes the Holy Quran in both text and audio versions.
And don’t worry if you’re traveling abroad, either. This app works worldwide, so you can use it whenever you’re exploring more of the beautiful Arabian peninsular or beyond.
Other UAE prayer apps are:
- UAE Prayer Timing – find prayer timings, religious holidays, and mosques in Dubai
Whether you’re looking for some help cleaning up after a dinner party with friends, or simply need regular support keeping your new home clean, there are plenty of ways to get a little at-home help in the UAE. And, as you might expect, there are even a few apps to help you out.
One such app is Justlife. This easy-to-use app will have your home looking immaculate in no time. From just AED 30 per hour, you can book a trusted cleaner through the app and the payment will also be taken care of via your credit card, with an option for you to add a tip if they left your place extra sparkly. The app also offers a selection of other services, including home PCR tests, at-home doctor visits, and mobile hair services.