Top ten apps to upgrade your lifestyle in Dubai

Are you in Dubai and looking to tap into that enviable lifestyle you’ve heard about? These apps are your ticket in.

Poolside at the Mandarin Oriental Jumeira, Dubai. Image credit: Yuliya Pankevich/Unsplash

In Dubai, there seems to be an app for everything, which means you don’t have to be a local to know how to make the most of the buzzing city. These Dubai apps give you access to everything the city has to offer, right at your fingertips.

Interior of Blacklane vehicle.

Blacklane – take your travel seriously

Everyone knows about ride hailing and its perks of on-demand pickups and app-based bookings. But, did you know you can elevate your quick pickup with Blacklane’s new chauffeur hailing service in Dubai?

When you download the Blacklane app, you can book rides immediately or schedule them in advance for airport transfers or longer-distance rides out to nearby emirates, including Abu Dhabi. 

Blacklane’s app makes it easy to manage your rides whenever you like. Blacklane’s fixed-price rides mean you don’t need to worry about hidden costs when you make a booking.

The Entertainer – make the expensive more affordable

It’s always a pleasure to find discounts in a country known for lavish brunches and gold-leaf-adorned afternoon teas. Entertainer is the app you need if you’d like to save money on spa treatments or Michelin-star dinners. You’re likely to hear the phrase “Is it on the Entertainer?” quite a few times in your first few weeks in the UAE.

This two-for-one app just keeps getting better and better. In addition to dining deals, there are fitness and activities offers (the theme park deals are particularly cool), and you can even share unused offers with others. 

Talabat – the quickest food delivery

Talabat is your magic wand for solving the never-ending ‘what to cook’ dilemma! A one-stop shop for all your culinary needs. This app is actually the takeaway leader in the whole GCC region (Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Egypt, Oman, Bahrain, Iraq, and Jordan).

There are a wide variety of cuisines and restaurants to choose from, including global franchises and local favorites. Additionally, Talabat offers a variety of payment options to suit your needs wherever you are anytime, anywhere. And that’s not all, using the guest checkout option, you can use this app without creating an account. Also, the app keeps track of your previous orders so you can reorder easily.

InstaShop – everything you need without the trip to the supermarket

The boom in delivery services shows no signs of abating even though many shops are open again. The competition now focuses more on providing the most convenient, user-friendly, and inclusive service. InstaShop is a delivery app, which is quite popular with expats and locals in the UAE. Easy to use and quick to deliver, the app is available in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, and Sharjah.

Find a supermarket near you, choose your desired items, and enjoy free delivery over a certain amount. This is especially useful if you are in the middle of a dinner party and can’t leave the house for some extra snacks, or if you forgot an ingredient midway through cooking. Additionally, you can order pet supplies, flowers, cosmetics, and even pharmacy products through the app. Cash on delivery or credit cards are both available.

The Dubai Mall App – find your way through the world’s biggest shopping mall

With the Dubai Mall mobile app, you can explore the world’s largest luxury mall from your smartphone. With more than 1300 stores, and real-time notifications on the hottest offers, you’ll experience everything The Dubai Mall has to offer ahead of every visit. Make your way to the mall, use turn-by-turn navigation for a smooth journey, and earn Emirates Skywards points with every purchase.

Viya – a luxury lifestyle rewards app

Pairing with leading hotels in the city, including Mandarin Oriental and Andaz Dubai The Palm, Viya gives its customers access to some of the best facilities, restaurants, and beaches around.

For avid golfers, premium destinations such as the Emirates Golf Club and Jumeirah Golf Estates can be accessed at exclusive rates from this Dubai-based app.

The reward program works on a two-way loyalty basis. With every AED you spend at a Viya partner, you’ll receive cashback that can eventually add up and go towards a luxury experience. Additionally, you can save on every purchase you make through the app.

Ounass – The Dubai app for luxury shopping

Luxury shopping has never been easier with Ounass, a Dubai-based online store that boasts collections from top brands including Gucci, Dolce & Gabbana, and Fendi.

Scroll through the exclusive capsule collections of select designers or shop by item – from shoes and handbags to gifts and homewares. Everything you didn’t know you needed is likely here.

You can pick the perfect outfit over morning coffee and be wearing it for your brunch date thanks to the two-hour delivery window for all orders in Dubai. 

Washmen – for all your on-demand laundry needs

Don’t make another drycleaning trip in Dubai. Washmen will pick up your laundry from your door and deliver it back to you all via a fully contactless service in the app.

You simply place an order with your preferred pick-up and drop-off date and time and a driver will come and collect your laundry.

The app offers a clean and press service for your clothing, bedding, and towels as well as a clean and fold service for your activewear. 

The service also offers free recycling on plastic and paper items when a laundry order is placed.

Urban Company – Beauty treatments and home cleaning in one Dubai app

Urban Company provides a platform for you to connect with trained professionals across a number of fields.

In Dubai, you can book a salon or spa treatment, get a haircut, have your pet groomed, or get a COVID-19 test done all from the comfort of your own home.

The app also has cleaners, trained repairers, and professionals who can help with moving or painting.

All professionals on the platform are skilled and experienced in their industries. They must undergo intensive training with Urban Company before being able to list their services on the platform. 

DubaiNow – a one-stop admin shop

While it may not be considered a luxury app, DubaiNow takes the stress (and time) out of having to access government services — especially for those who would like to extend their stay in the emirate.

Need to pay your bills or track the status of your visa application? DubaiNow enables users to take care of admin tasks without making it feel like too much of a chore.