Apps are big business, with subscriptions continuing to grow into sizeable revenue streams for developers.
There were 194 billion mobile downloads globally last year and consumers spent more than 90 billion euros.
The big players – such as WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and Facebook itself – are well known. But there’s much more available on the market.
Dubai is one city that is embracing mobile technology and redefining business models.
One of the newest apps on the market is Dubz. It is an off-airport travel solutions app that allows you to check in your luggage from the comfort of your own home or hotel.
Once you’ve booked the service a member of the team arrives at your address. They verify your passport, then weigh and tag your luggage before issuing you with a boarding pass.
They then whisk your luggage to the airport and you next see it at your destination.
Omar Abou Faraj, chief executive and co-founder of Dubz, says apps are becoming instrumental to the economy.
“The fact that we are able now to bring an airport to a customer’s home requires a certain level of technological readiness that wouldn’t have been possible before.”
Another innovative app is CAFU – an on-demand fuel delivery service that comes and fills up your vehicle with petrol wherever you are.
You choose the location and time and CAFU heads straight to you.
Antonio al-Asmar, CAFU general manager, said: “There is no way an economy can go forward and progress unless we move into the digital age. So, apps have changed the whole way we are living.”
The Dubai government is also getting on board with a unified smart app called Dubai Now.
It offers more than 50 smart services from 22 government departments.
Hessa Alblosshi, director of smart services at Smart Dubai, says having a unified platform is a game-changer for the city.
“Building all these small apps and applications costs a lot,” she told Target. “So having one app, one platform for all government services or even city services, this will really reduce the cost to the government.”