DUBAI: With 92 per cent of active internet users in the UAE, the population in the country is witnessing a transformation of daily services through internet solutions such as interactive smart mobile applications and smart city solutions.
Professionals in the field of computer sciences either through the platform of organisations or individuals, have been converting their expertise into profitable business to develop smart phone applications for the huge number of smart phone users. This development has also made the country a hotspot for young tech entrepreneurs.
To ease the motorist dilemma of parking, Adnan Masood, a former director of marketing at a telecom firm, came up with an idea. In early 2016, while working in Dubai Media City, he launched Park Key.
He noticed that while many people go around in circles looking for parking, there were many spaces sitting vacant in nearby buildings. He thought out of the box for a solution where people can book parking online as well as leverage the sharing economy to maximise utilisation of the parking spaces.
Prior to moving to Dubai to take up a senior role at the telecom company, Masood led marketing teams in Australia for tier one companies in the ICT industry. The smart phone app he developed is free and available online through parkey.com and Android play store. Users can pay for parking online when booking the parking spot for the duration of their choice.
Park Key charges are a small percentage of the processing fee for each booking. “No booking and no fees, as it is a very cost-effective solution for parking lots to go digital without any investment in IT and mobile apps,” he said.
For a while, Masood had been thinking of setting up a startup. The app is the first that he has launched commercially. “We plan to roll out the platform in multiple countries as well as introduce more features to enrich it,” he said.
He mentioned that Park Key is in line with “Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s vision for a Smart Dubai, where users can book services online, among other smart city initiatives.
Furthermore, EjarCar.com was launched in January. It is a mobile responsive web app designed to make online car rentals highly convenient for customers. “We partner with hundreds of local car rental companies in the UAE to get great savings and a wide variety of car models available online for our customers,” said Hassan Siddiqi, CEO EjarCar, in an interview with The Gulf Today.
The website is mobile friendly so one can browse from any device. The company is planning to launch dedicated mobile apps shortly.
Siddiqi mentioined that “it is a great app for people looking for fantastic car rental deals. You can get the right car at the right time at the right price with EjarCar.com. It is also a highly convenient way to book a car quickly with minimum hassle or haggling with car rental companies.”
In August 2012, he launched YallaMotor.com which is currently generating traffic of over 500,000 unique users. “Our future plans include building dedicated mobile apps for iOS and Android. In addition, we plan on launching an Arabic website dedicated to customers in Saudi Arabia and other GCC countries.
“The biggest benefit of a mobile app should be saving time and money. Our app helps customers save money on rental cars and save time in the booking process so the car gets delivered to them as soon as possible,” he added.