House & Home

Top must-have apps in the UAE

If you’ve recently moved to the Emirates, get everything you need at the touch of a button with these top must-have apps in the UAE.

UAE apps

By Sophie Cullen

Updated 28-2-2024

Moving to a new place can be challenging, but living in the United Arab Emirates 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.

To download with confidence, here are our suggestions for the best apps to have on your UAE mobile phone:

Government apps for the UAE

Getting your head around admin in your new Emirati home can be a challenge. Whether you’re sorting out your utility bills or exchanging a foreign license, there’s a lot to consider. However, you can make things a lot easier by downloading these useful government apps.

couple looking at phone in traditional clothing

UAE Pass

The UAE Pass app 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 for or extending visa applications. Take note that to get access to this handy, time-saving app you’ll need to have an original Emirates ID.

Dubai Police

Operating in Dubai, the Dubai Police app is useful for matters related to security. Among its functions, you can use this app to pay for your fines, report any lost items, or report a crime in Dubai. Available in English, this app will help make your experience in the UAE safer for yourself and others.

Buying second-hand

If you’re looking to live a greener lifestyle in the UAE, one of the best steps you can take is to buy second-hand. Whether you’re looking to buy a car or a surfboard to ride the waves at the UAE’s beaches, there are plenty of ways to give pre-loved items a new home. One of the best ways to see what’s on the market is to download these apps.

sports car parked in front of Dubai skyline


Dubizzle is the country’s leading free classifieds hub, making it easy for you to buy and sell across all seven emirates. From furnishing your new apartment with pre-loved goods to selling 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.


Find pre-loved goods at affordable prices with Melltoo. This trusted marketplace app will help you buy and sell second-hand items. From furniture and electronics to fashion and garden tools, Melltoo has got it all. The app will also sort out the delivery for you, saving you from having to transport the goods yourself.

Healthcare in the UAE

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.

A doctor in the UAE examining a chart


If you’re living in Dubai, the DHA (Dubai Health Authority) app will give you access to local medical services. Available in both English and Arabic, Dubai residents can use the app to manage their health appointments, check lab results, review their Medical Fitness Application status, and even volunteer to donate blood. COVID vaccinations and boosters can also be booked through the app.


For all things COVID-19 related, download ALHOSN UAE. Launched by the Ministry of Health and Prevention, this is the official app for COVID-19 testing in the UAE. You can use it to book tests, view your results, and share your test report and vaccination certificate with others.

Eating and food delivery

If you’re a new arrival to the UAE, you’ll certainly enjoy getting your teeth stuck into the local cuisine. Discovering the UAE food scene is one of the best ways to get to know the country – whether you’re exploring the best restaurants in Dubai or checking out the local supermarket. However, if you’re looking for some food delivered to your home without the hassle of cooking, there are plenty of apps to help you out.



With Deliveroo, you’ll find cuisine from across the globe at your fingertips. This food-delivery app works with restaurants in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Al-Ain, and Ajman. Simply make your order and then sit back and wait until it gets delivered to your door. You can even track where your food is along its journey.


Available in all of the seven emirates, Zomato will deliver your favorite food to your door. From pizza to traditional machboosh, the app has got all sorts of food to choose from. And if that’s not enough, you can also use the app to make reservations at local restaurants and read restaurant reviews.


Operating in the UAE’s major cities, Talabat has thousands of restaurants and markets offering food delivery. You can also use the app to deliver groceries, flowers, and health and wellness products to your door.

Getting around the Emirates

Navigating local public transport in a new home is always a challenge, and the UAE is no exception. There are plenty of modes of transport running across the city, from the metro to water taxis. On the bright side, the public transit system in the UAE is world-class and is constantly improving. With these apps, you’ll be getting around in no time.


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. It offers a host of features, including a journey planner, maps, timetables, and more. You can also use the app to 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.

escalator in a metro station in UAE


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.


Need a ride? Check out Careem, a ride-hailing app available across all seven emirates. Offering taxis, rental cars, and bikes, this app will help you get around however suits you best. You can easily pay for your ride within the app, saving you the time and hassle of sorting out your cash.


One of the biggest ride-hailing apps, Uber, is also available in the UAE. Operating only in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, this user-friendly app makes ride-hailing easy. Simply put in your destination, choose your vehicle, and a driver will come to pick you up within minutes.

Discount apps

In a country famed for its lavish brunches and gold leaf-adorned afternoon teas, finding a discount on things to do is always welcomed. Luckily, there are plenty of apps to help you save some money in your pocket.

A car dune bashing in the desert

The Entertainer

The Entertainer is the app you need if you’re looking to get savings from a variety of services. A subscription-based service, you can use the app to access discounts on restaurants, bars, and fitness venues. If you’re looking for more luxurious discounts, you can also save on golf clubs, yacht charters, and luxury hotels. Currently, the app has offers across Abu Dhabi, Dubai, and Al Ain.


Groupon will help you find discounts on things to do in Dubai. From fast food to spa treatments, the app enables you to save some money on a range of activities. With so many options, you can save activities in the app’s Wishlist so you have goals to work towards.

Grocery delivery apps

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 grocery delivery apps. Whether you’re busy with work or want to simply avoid crowds, it be tough to find the time to buy your daily essentials. That’s where these apps come in handy.

man shopping in emirati supermarket


Available in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, and Sharjah, Instashop is known for its speedy delivery. Simply choose a supermarket, select your items, and delivery will arrive in a minimum of half an hour. You can pay for your goods online with your credit card or in cash when your delivery arrives. If you need more than just food, the app also offers pet supplies, flowers, cosmetics, and pharmaceutical products.

Get a selection of fresh and frozen goods delivered to your door with From fruit and vegetables to fish and fresh bread, this app is great if you’re looking to make a meal to impress your friends. With plenty of exclusive offers, you can also count on the app to save some money on your daily needs.

El Grocer

Order home-delivered goods from grocery stores near you with El Grocer. Operating across the UAE, you can choose between international, local, and organic grocery stores with this app. Simply put in your address and see which ones are available in your area.

Finding accommodation

When you decide to move to the United Arab Emirates, one of the first things you’ll need to do is find somewhere to stay. If you’re not sure where to live in the UAE, or you are only moving for a short time, these apps will help you get started.


Airbnb can help you find short and long-term rentals in the UAE. With plenty of private rooms, apartments, and houses available on their app, you’re bound to find accommodation to your liking in no time. You can speed up your search by using the app’s filters, to see what is available for your location of choice and price range.


Bayut is one of the UAE’s largest real estate portals, and their app makes searching for property simple. Whether you’re looking to rent or buy, the app has all sorts of listings available across the seven emirates. Their handy search feature also helps you find properties that are close to your workplace.

Prayer apps

Islam is the national religion in the Emirates, so it comes as no surprise that the majority of the population practices the religion. Whether you identify as Muslim or simply want to learn more about the faith, having a praying app on your phone can give you a helping hand.

The Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi at dusk

Muslim Pro

Muslim Pro is a praying app that sends an audio or silent notification whenever it’s time to pray in the UAE. 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. The app works worldwide, so you can use it whenever you’re exploring more of the beautiful Arabian peninsular or beyond.

UAE Prayer Timing

To help with your practice, download UAE Prayer Timing. Available for both iOS and Android, you can use this app to remind you of your prayer timings, find mosques in Dubai, and remind you of upcoming religious holidays.

Cleaning and household maintenance

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.

A clean apartment bedroom in Dubai, UAE


One such app to make your home spick and span is Justlife. With this easy-to-use app, you can book a trusted cleaner to make your home look immaculate in no time. Payment can also be sorted conveniently through the app itself. Justlife also offers other services, including home PCR tests, at-home doctor visits, and mobile hair services.


Too busy to do your laundy? Washmen can help out. Offering professional dry cleaning, laundry and shoe repair, you can count on this app for spotless clothing and clean linen. Operating in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, you can expect your items to be returned in just a few days.