What can you do?
- Everyday life involves several chores - grocery shopping, renewing licences or applying for government services.
- Gulf News looks at whether it is physically possible for you to get all these activities and processes done on your mobile phone.
Dubai: How much can you do on your phone? Living in Smart UAE, the answer is - a lot.
In the Emirates, a lot of government services and paperwork can also easily be done using the gadget in your hands. These services along with the services available through e-commerce companies mean that you could live your life on the phone. Or could you? Gulf News finds out.
Show me the money
Let’s start with the basics - money. If you are an employee. getting your salary no longer requires you to encash a cheque. Sine the Wage Protection System was introduced in the UAE in 2009, companies have been required to deposit the month’s salary into the bank account of its workers. Once the money you need to complete everyday chores becomes accessible through a bank’s mobile website or an app, the rest follows.
Transport and parking services
Start your day at a client meeting or with grocery shopping? You no longer need to physically go to a ticket machine to pay for parking. Almost all emirates offer parking services through apps by their transport departments or offer SMS services. Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority, in fact, has 10 apps, for easy access to parking payments, route maps, renewal of car registration, driver’s licence etc.
Catch the right bus, Metro and ferry to reach your destination through Dubai’s RTA app as well as Abu Dhabi’s Darb app or Ajman’s Masaar app.
Hailing a taxi is also possible through some of these apps.
Meanwhile there are other commercial apps to finish your shopping and set up meeting agendas.
Travelling by air? Most residents now rarely go to a booking agency, and even when they do, there are always options available to pay through your phone.
Every day bills
Electricity and water bills can be paid through apps like Dewa for Dubai, ADDC (Abu Dhabi Distribution Company), Sewa for Sharjah, Fewa for Ajman, Umm Al Quwain, Ras Al Khaimah and Fujairah. Several UAE banks also offer auto-payment options for utility bills, that make regular payments seamless.
The same applies to landline, internet and mobile phone bills, with both the major service providers - etisalat and du - offering payment through their apps.
Applying for a visit visa can be done entirely online, quite easily through your phone using the app by the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs
Money transfer within the UAE is extremely easy with online banking services that most top banks in the country provide at a minimal service fee. Transferring money to a colleague or family member who has an account with the same bank? It would most likely be free.
An app by Dubai’s Smart Government, Dubai Now, collectively offers many services already possible through other apps. Some interesting services offered include having a vaccination plan for your infant or finding the closest medical centre/hospital/physician, a list of all the speed limits on Dubai Roads, and a Dubai schools’ search based on rating, annual fees or curriculum. A similar search is available for universities and training institutes.
Other services include a rent increase calculator and Dewa consumption tracker. However, some services require a DubaiID. Want to know how to apply for one? Information is available on myid.dubai.gov.ae
Food, food and more food...
Gone are the days when you needed to beg and plead a restaurant to deliver something. Food delivery apps from Zomato, Deliveroo, Uber Eats to Talabat - there are a number of apps that have made food delivery a no-worry zone. For a nominal delivery cost, you can have a range of cuisine delivered into your hands, from a single macaron to a four-course meal. And, the best part, if there is a mess-up, the apps help ensure you get redressal.
At no point, do you have to worry about not finding something to eat. And in a fast-moving world, wherein many do not have the time to prepare a meal, let alone bring homecooked food, these apps are the perfect answer.
Taking this one step further are apps that even plan your meals, calculate calorie intake and offer advice on what might be a good idea to eat.
Looking for the perfect job. Dubai government has a ‘Dubai Careers’ app, where you can apply online for a job that is suitable for you. Professional networking apps like LinkedIn can also help significantly in increasing your visibility with professionals in your field.
Want to donate blood?
There is a Dubai Health Authority app that offers information for people who want to donate blood. It also lets you check your lab results, offers a summary of your doctor’s visit and medication and lets you create an online appointment.
Want to set up a business?
You can use the UAE government’s Bashr services to get it done in 15 minutes!
And everything else in between
Need groceries, but too lazy to step out? Check if your favourite supermarket chain does not already have an app where you can order your groceries, pay for them online and get them delivered at home.
Online shopping apps like souq.com, awok.com, noon.com and many more already offer items of everyday use, from kitchen tools to brooms and detergents.
Have a terrible memory? Apps like Evernote can be a lifesaver, where you can store recipes and book recommendations, track your expenses or save pictures of items you love for later reference. Many such apps also allow you to sync the app on the phone with one on your laptop or desktop, making them quite versatile and handy.
Want to learn to cook or a new language, translate a document, need a dictionary - there are apps for it, from Bescherelle to Tasty, it’s all just a click away.
Want to read, play games, do puzzles, paint, watch movies or be generally entertained - from Netflix to Instagram, a range of apps cover it for you.
Spent the entire day on the phone and now you can’t sleep?
Look up relaxing sleep music and YouTube, and sleep like a baby.