Living in Dubai? Make your expat life a little more convenient and fun by downloading these top 10 must-have apps for your phone
10 August 2022| Last updated on 16 December 2022
Pop these apps on your phone to make your life in the Emirate a breeze.
Whether you're looking for something exciting to do on the weekend, need to grab some groceries from your local supermarket, or book a taxi, downloading these must-have Dubai apps will make your expat life and discovering the city all the more effortless.
Here are the top 10 apps to download while living in Dubai. And yes, there is an app in Dubai for almost everything.
You've got a few choices when it comes to car-hailing apps in Dubai, and the one we recommend would be Careem.
This app will allow you to book your nearest Dubai taxi or licenced car service, if you prefer to ride to your destination in a fancy car. You can also use this app to transfer money to other expat residents, buy groceries, order takeout, book home and cleaning help, purchase flowers, and even book a PCR test.
You can pay through cash, card, or in-app credits.
Another ride-hailing app we recommend to download on your phone would be Uber. With Uber, you have several choices; UberX for a cheaper ride, UberONE charges a premium for electric cars, and Uber Chopper if money isn't an issue and you want to drop into work like being an international super spy is your part-time job.
S'hail is our recommended app for Dubai residents who commute by public transport. Created by the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), this free transit app has live updates and plenty of commuting routes in Dubai in just a tap.
Whether you are hopping on a public bus or taking the Dubai metro, it gives you the fastest routes from your location to your destination of choice.
You can download this app for the iOS and Android.
4. Dubai Now
The local government's Dubai Now app is a convenient app for settling your bills and legal fines, topping up your Salik and Nol, pay for public parking, send charity, manage your UAE residency, renew your car registration, find government health care, and so much more.
If there's any app you must download while living in Dubai, it's definitely this one. The app provides access to more than 120 city services from over 30 government and private sector entities in the Emirate
If you are commuting in Dubai with your own vehicle, the Waze app is another must-have for drivers. This reliable traffic app instantly provides you with real time information about the roads of Dubai, including traffic, accidents and crashes, roads that have closed for construction, and more.
You can also calculate the travel time, distance, and number of routes available towards the destination of your choice. As it's a community app, Waze users can provide reliable and accurate alerts for other Dubai drivers if there's traffic congestion or if an accident took place.
Waze is free to download for iOS and Android.
6. Cinema UAE
For movie-goers, the Cinema UAE app is another essential app to download while living in Dubai. This app helps you plan ahead by providing up-to-date movie showtimes for all emirates (with the exception of Umm Al Quwain), film trailers, and online movie ticket booking.
Cinema UAE is free to download for iOS and Android.
We know that living in Dubai can get quite expensive, which is why this next app is one we recommend for residents looking for deals.
Save your dirhams with the Cobone app, where you'll find the best offers on dining, outdoor and indoor activities, staycations, salon and spa packages, car services, and so much more.
Explore, experience, eat, buy, and get the most out of city life with daily deals in the UAE up to 75% off.
Cobone is free to download for iOS and Android.
As an expat abroad in the UAE, there's never been a better time to learn the local language; and if your Arabic is limited to "shukran" and "habibi (come to Dubai)", there's an app that can help remedy that.
The Duolingo app offers a fun approach to learning a new language, with helpful challenges and awards for progress.
Duolingo is free to download for iOS and Android.
Rather than spending your time driving out to a petrol station and using up your gas along the way, the Cafu app's fuel delivery service will bring the fuel to you, whether you're at the office, at home, or anywhere in Dubai.
There are currently no delivery fees and the cost of Cafu's fuel is the same price as the ones at any petrol station.
10. Food-ordering apps
In a fast-paced buzzing city like Dubai, it comes as no surprise if people often don't have the luxury of time to cook or step out to eat.
Thankfully there are loads of third-party food delivery apps to download in Dubai where you can easily browse through hundreds of restaurants, cafes, and eateries with just a swipe of a finger.
Download these apps below to bring your cravings right to your home, office, school, or almost anywhere you are in the Emirate.
Popular food delivery apps in Dubai include Deliveroo, Noon (food section), Talabat, Nownow, Munch:On, and Careem (food section).