happenings this month Navigating UAE Life: Discover the Top 15 Apps Every New Resident Needs!
Navigating UAE Life: Discover the Top 15 Apps Every New Resident Needs!
Updated on 10 January 2024

Starting a new life in a different country can be overwhelming. It often takes about a year for individuals to learn the functioning of a new city or country, and the relocation experience varies. For those planning to move to the UAE, Discover Dubai has compiled a list of 15 essential apps to ease your transition. The UAE stands out as one of the few countries with apps catering to nearly every need. Here are 15 apps you should download to ease your life as a UAE resident.

Apps For Transport 


Careem, started out as a leading ride-hailing service in the UAE, similar to Uber. Available on both Android and iOS platforms, the Careem app goes beyond transportation, it serves as a comprehensive platform for ordering food, and groceries, and even handling bill payments, offering users a versatile and convenient solution.


Developed by Dubai's Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), this app streamlines the use of public transportation for enhanced convenience. Offering schedules for buses, the metro, and ferries, it facilitates easy access to transport options, including estimated trip costs. Notably, the app incorporates an Augmented Reality (AR) feature, point your phone in any direction, and reveals nearby bus stops while dynamically mapping your current location in real-time. This innovative tool enhances the overall public transport experience for users in Dubai.


If you've relocated to the UAE and passed your driving test, don't forget to download the Waze app. A must-have for drivers, this community-based traffic and navigation app provides real-time updates on roads and traffic. It is a lifesaver for navigating through accidents and congestion, with users contributing to keep others informed. Waze stands out for its reliability, accuracy, and regular map updates, making it an essential tool for drivers in the UAE.

Smart Salik

Living in Dubai? Don't forget the Smart Salik app. A must for drivers, it's your go-to app for paying road tolls, keeping track of violations, topping up your account, and accessing useful information on centre locations. Developed by the RTA, the app ensures you stay informed and provides a convenient platform for managing your driving-related needs. 


In Abu Dhabi? Make sure to download the Darb app, it's your essential companion for smooth driving in the capital. Sign up, handle your payments, review fines or violations, and submit any concerns or requests for exemptions. This user-friendly app is a must-have for navigating Abu Dhabi's roads hassle-free. 

Money Saving Apps 

The Entertainer 

Moving to a new country involves managing expenses until you adjust to the cost of living. An excellent money-saving app for such situations is The Entertainer. Accessible on both iOS and Android, this app offers dining deals, fitness, and activity discounts, including attractive options for theme parks. Additionally, it allows users to share unused offers with others. Subscription prices begin at Dhs 525 per year for the basic package.


Much like The Entertainer app, but without any cost, Groupon provides a variety of discounts and two-for-one deals on a wide range of retailers, restaurants, and more. Whether it's pool days, spa treatments, or cleaning services, you can enjoy savings without paying the full price, provided you're open to various retailers.


For effective expense tracking while settling in a new country, Wally serves as your accountant. It assists in setting financial goals to stay within budget. Wally also provides insights into your spending by notifying you about transactions. A valuable tool for setting budgets, the app is accessible on both iPhone and Android platforms.

Apps For Deliveries And Shopping

Beyond Careem and Amazon, numerous apps in the UAE enhance your shopping experience without requiring you to step out.


InstaShop is not just for food delivery, it's your go-to platform for various needs. Apart from providing options for purchasing from nearby supermarkets, restaurants, pharmacies, bakeries, pet shops, butcheries, florists, perfumeries, and electronic stores, it also offers the convenience of last-minute house cleaning bookings and charitable donations, all at the touch of a screen.


The Deliveroo app is a must in the UAE, providing delivery from a multitude of restaurants across the Emirates. Users can easily filter options by criteria and cuisine. The app also extends its services to groceries, with Amazon Prime members enjoying free delivery. Additional food delivery platforms like Talabat and Uber Eats are also popular in the region.


Noon is like a local version of Amazon, offering a one-stop shop for various items. You can find watches, fashion, electronics, furniture, sports equipment, home office products, kitchen appliances, and more, all with free shipping.

Apps For Kids


For parents relocating to the UAE, managing multiple tasks can be overwhelming. Simplify your children's activities with the Qidz app. Designed by mothers, Qidz lets you explore thousands of children's activities, free days out, and exclusive offers in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. The app provides reviews from other customers, making it easy to filter and search for activities. 


For families seeking weekend and holiday activities in the UAE, Kidzapp is a must-have. Easily explore numerous family-friendly options in your area, book and pay for them directly through the app, and enjoy exclusive discounts and cashback for your next activity. Available nationwide, except in Umm Al Quwain and Ras Al Khaimah.

Apps For Clean And Home Maintenance 


Washmen, the UAE's leading dry cleaning app, has got your back. Just pack your items in their colour-coded bags, schedule a 30-minute pickup, and within two days, Washmen will deliver them back to your door. Their straightforward pricing allows you to pay for the services you require.


For a clean home, Justlife is the go-to app. It's user-friendly, allowing you to book a reliable cleaner effortlessly and have your home looking flawless in no time. Plus, you can conveniently handle payments directly through the app. 

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