representations user experience interface design
representations user experience interface design

Important apps for your Dubai vacation

We’ve done a lot of traveling, even lived in Singapore for a while and backpacked for a year from Patagonia in Chile to Honduras in Central America. But Dubai is really unique – there’s an app for everything here. Whether you want to have food delivered, get a vitamin test through a convenient at-home blood draw, or have a hair salon in your own bathroom. Even refueling your car right outside your front door is organized via an app. Restaurants will ask you to sign up for their own loyalty program via a QR code every time you pay. Even though many of these apps are designed specifically for people in Dubai, there are also many useful apps that can make your Dubai vacation perfect.

Our Tip:

Install these apps before you arrive and test them out. So you can get started right at the airport.

An important note regarding app downloads:

some apps may not work smoothly with a “foreign” phone number during registration. It is advisable to obtain a free SIM card at the airport, as a lot is done via cell phone in Dubai. E-mails are virtually non-existent here. WhatsApp, in particular, is the app we use the most. But beware: if you want to make a call at home with WhatsApp, it is not possible. The use of “Voice over IP Calling” is regulated and there are exactly 13 supported providers and technologies. So if you want to make free calls, there are several options. We find Google Meet the easiest. For 1:1 calls, Google offers this service for free, and it is very easy to use. The only catch: you need a Google account (not to be confused with a Google email address). If you decide against a local SIM card, you should keep an eye on the roaming costs, otherwise it can get very expensive. Therefore, we recommend you to check in advance on the website of your mobile operator if there are prepaid roaming packages available (for example 5 GB data for 19,90 €).

In our blog we give you a lot of important information, explained step by step.

Get a local SIM card, you can find the respective apps here:

Get a local SIM card directly at the airport – you can top up online with all providers

D U App

Du Solid Brandmark Rgb

Free 1 GB data package for 24 hours. Subsequently, the SIM

Virgin App

Vm Group White Rgb 600x600

There is no free package with Virgin, but the prices are very fair. We recommend the data package with 60 GB data for 15 days (one-time € 50) or the one with 21 GB data volume for 7 days (just under € 40). This means you can send a video or photo to your loved ones at home or make a video call via Google Meet while on the road (data consumption: approx. 1 GB per hour). The Unlimited includes the Voice over IP (Free Internet Calling) option. This plan is recommended for people who want to watch TV or video on a large scale.

Etisalat App


Plans start from around €20, with the most expensive plan costing around €80. If you activate a SIM card with Etisalat, you will get a 20% discount on 4 cab rides (booked via Careem app). A cab ride usually costs between € 10 and € 20, which more or less compensates for the Etisalat plan.

We are absolutely satisfied with our mobile contract with Virgin. The numerous Virgin stores are staffed with extremely competent employees. Through the app, we have real-time visibility into our data volume as well as local and international call minutes used. And what we especially appreciate: we can flexibly change our maximum credits between the different categories.

But now to the really helpful apps for your Dubai vacation. We have deliberately chosen not to list all apps so as not to overwhelm you. This selection is based on our personal assessment and does not mean that other apps are not good as well.


Careem Uae 529x1024 1

In Careem app you can buy and do practically everything for your daily life! 😊 But all kidding aside, the biggest benefit for tourists is in the Hala Taxi and the “normal” cab functions. Here you can easily order cab rides. You can compare prices and add extras, such as a child seat. Many tourists prefer UBER, which is of course fine, but can be a bit more expensive.

The app also offers other features like home spa service. I won’t go into details here, as I think this is less interesting for tourists.



There are more than 10 different apps through which you can order food to your home. However, we always opt for Deliverdoo. Deliverdoo’s service also extends to hotels, AirB&Bs and vacation rentals. All you have to do is enter your address and the food will be delivered within 15-45 minutes. The choice of dishes is almost limitless. Whether you’re craving an authentic Thai curry or more of a juicy burger, you’ll find it here. The restaurants are rated with stars, which makes it easier for you to choose.

There are also other apps through which you can order food or other things:



CAFU specializes in all services related to the car. The absolutely most ingenious service for us is refueling at home. You don’t have to tediously search for a gas station and stand there in line until the tap finds its way to your car. Many people leave the engine running while doing this so that the air conditioner will work properly in the warm temperatures. We feel that this behavior is nonsensical in this day and age. Unlike in Europe, all service stations in Dubai are manned by service personnel. Payment is made either in cash or mostly by card directly through the car window. So if you’re traveling with a rental car, we recommend downloading the app.



Waze is a GPS-based navigation system for smartphones and is particularly useful in Dubai for navigating the often chaotic traffic. The roads in Dubai can be confusing, and it’s easy to get lost. Such errors cost valuable time. Waze accurately records the current traffic flow and immediately offers alternative route suggestions. Compared to Google Maps, Waze is often more accurate and knows the latest road layouts, some of which are not yet implemented in Google Maps. In addition, Waze uses thousands of Dubai members who were willing to share their data in order to analyze traffic situations even more accurately. It’s definitely a recommended app for moving smoothly through Dubai traffic.

RTA = Roads & Transport Authority

Byzpkamo 400x400

UAE residents mainly need the app to pay public parking fees. You can learn more about parking in Dubai in our blog post “Driving in Dubai”. For tourists, we recommend this app especially as a metro and tram guide. Traffic congestion in Dubai can be really terrible, especially before 09:30 in the morning as well as later in the afternoon until about 20:00. For this reason, we advise you to use the metro during the mentioned time slots if possible, even if it is only for a few stops. This way you can save yourself a lot of stress. It recently took us 75 minutes to cover 500 meters. Moreover, the ride in the driverless metro is not only practical, but also an experience and at the same time offers a kind of sightseeing 😊


Download 1

Zomato is a provider of great restaurant deals. You can activate the Zomato Gold version, which is free for seven days, and then costs about €13 for three months. The app will show you all the restaurants near you as well as the available deals. You can also search for specific restaurants.

Time Out Dubai

Tbizotwm Time Out Dxb Is Back In Dubai International Airport

Timeout is a fantastic app and website that provides you with the latest information on what’s hot in Dubai. Whether it’s a new beach club or restaurants that have recently been tested, you’ll find it all on Timeout. You can also discover the hidden gems of the city. The platform also offers interesting reports and constantly presents the hottest locations in Dubai.


17949 C450710533 W1280 H960 Q55 Pjpg

Viator (subsidiary of Trip Advisor) is our proud partner and the world’s leading platform for booking attractions and tours. We strongly encourage you to create your personalized itinerary for free on our website, CusTours (goes live in December). This way you save hours of research effort, because our team has already prepared everything for you. With just a few clicks, you can tell the platform what kind of activities you are interested in and you will receive only suggestions from the hundreds of activities and tours that exactly fit your preferences. Our service is funded by referral credits, so it’s absolutely free for you. Of course, you can also browse for yourself by following this link .

Khaleej Times

Khaleej Times 40 Years

It is one of the largest English-language daily newspapers in the United Arab Emirates. The newspaper was founded in Dubai in 1979 and offers various categories such as top stories, lifestyle, entertainment, etc.. This way you can prepare for your Dubai vacation and get an insight into what’s happening here. Of course, international topics are also covered.

Platinumlist Dubai:


Platinumlist Dubai is our second partner with an extensive offer. Particularly unique to Platinum Dubai are the diverse events. Whether you like to go to the opera or prefer to dance at a music festival, you can find almost all tickets for events in Dubai here. Browse through the offer and prepare yourself for your vacation in Dubai. We recommend that you buy your tickets early, as the concerts are often booked up very quickly.

Emergency numbers in Dubai

The most important phone numbers in Dubai in case of emergencies are:

Fire department: 997

Outpatient clinic: 998

Police: 999

Yes, now we have an overview of the different apps and partners you can consider for your Dubai vacation. It may seem like a lot at first glance, but don’t worry, it’s quite simple. We really recommend you to download the apps that might be relevant for you. They will help you to enjoy a relaxing and pleasant vacation in Dubai. Safe travels! 🌴😊

Bye from Dubai

Your Ines

Pngtree Instagram Icon 8704817

Follow us on ines_loves_dubai & CusTours_Dubai to learn more about Dubai

Keinen Blogbeitrag verpassen?

Registriere dich jetzt und erhalte jederzeit aktuelle Benachrichtigungen!

Wir verrschicken keinen Spam - prüfe unsere privacy policy.

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *