Dubai's home-grown heroes - saluting our favourite techies
What’s On teams up with Good to salute Dubai’s home-grown heroes – techies – success stories in Dubai who know what starting a business in Dubai takes.
We’ve teamed up with Good to salute Dubai’s home-grown heroes. Whatever walk of life they are from, they all have in common the courage and conviction to grow an idea here, adding an authentic, home-grown flavour to the region. These are the people we champion – those who work hard, should be applauded and are creating a scene the Emirates can be proud of, forging ahead in heath, food, retail, charity, tech, community, culture and more.
As Madonna didn’t say, we are living in a digital world, and these digital girls and boys are making life better on the www…
If taxis are flying economy then a trip in a Careem car is turning left when you get on the plane. With super smart, sweet-smelling cars, courteous drivers and a foolproof booking system using your iPhone and GPS (it’s even linked to your bank account so you don’t need to carry cash), Co-founder Magnus Olsson has made car journeys in the UAE so much better.
2) Lime & Tonic
Ever whinged about there being nothing to do in the UAE? You should be ashamed of yourself, because Lime & Tonic and its MD Tariq Sanad couldn’t make sorting your social life any easier. Rounding up some of the region’s best events, evenings and special user deals, the website is your ‘social concierge’ and frequently offers up experiences not available anywhere else. Dinner in a secret garden, anyone?
3) The Curve
Ever thought about taking up a new hobby, trying a class or wanting to meet people away from the usual haunts? Maya Itani from The Curve recognised that some of us need a helping hand when it comes to exploring new diary-fillers, and has brought together some of the UAE’s best classes in everything from martial arts to makeup application, plus a whole lotta crafting. Lessons are searchable by area and price, making for an easy-to-navigate site – and an action-packed social life.
4) Tuesday’s Child
If you thought having a baby meant waving goodbye to style, fun and fashion, think again. Heidi Raeside, AKA the blogger behind tuesdayschild.me, showcases and celebrates “the UAE’s smart, stylish mums” through interviews, photo galleries and events, offering her inspirations and ideas. The result? A sweet spot on the internet where the region’s mums can find a dose of cool.
To call this website a life-saver might be a touch on the dramatic side, but it has certainly saved the day a few times on the present front. A haven for gadget lovers, the gang at JadoPado delights their customers with overnight delivery across the UAE, the latest bits of kit, and regular sales.
Championing the UAE’s crafters, new online store Ideyna (which means ‘our hands’ in Arabic) works closely with artists, jewellers and designers, offering them a marketplace. Started by Nafisa Rebello and Ekta Saran, the website even uploads videos of the artisans, allowing them to introduce their craft and products to users, further supporting small businesses and budding entrepreneurs. If you’d like to sell your wares on Idenya, contact the team for more information.
7) 6am Babies
Awesome twosome Kirsten van Langeveld and Ayshwarya Chari are mums themselves, so when it came to creating an online store for mothers and babies, they had the expertise to find products they’d be more than happy to use at home. The charming items are hand picked and chosen for their timeless appeal, are organic and fair trade where possible, and are often the work of other small businesses. And everything is adorable.
8) Little Majlis
Rounding up homewares, accessories and more from regional and international craftspeople, Little Majlis is a lovely little corner of the internet. You’ll find furniture, edible treats, jewellery, art and more, with founders Anna Bolton-Riley and Annabelle Fitzsimmons starting an online marketplace a world away from big brands and mega malls. They also introduce their customers to the people behind the products for a truly personal shopping experience. Our pick of the virtual shelves come courtesy of South African ceramists The Rustic Bead.
Founded by Ambareen Musa, this comparison website rounds up data across numerous sectors including education, insurance and financial products, helping you to find the best deal, contact or school. The site also has news updates, blog posts and reviews from readers, so you can keep your financial finger on the pulse. With impartial information and constant data gathering, you can trust this team.
Meet our other home-grown heroes…
– THE FOODIES: This wonderful food-obsessed bunch will keep you well-fed, from independent cafés and fine dining fastfood to a food truck and cookery classes.
– THE GLOW-GETTERS: Spas, products, fitness, experts and more, all with a UAE twist to get you healthy, happy, looking good and feeling great.
– THE RETAIL THERAPISTS: Step away from the mega malls and you’ll discover small shops and brands are doing it for themselves (and you, of course).
– THE TECHIES: As Madonna didn’t say, we are living in a digital world, and these digital girls and boys are making life better on the www.
– THE IDEALISTS: These charitable guys do very good things, from one person trying to make a difference to initiatives that inspire the whole community.
– THE CREATIVES: This lot laughs in the face of anyone calling the UAE a cultural desert. Ha. Theatre, cinema, design, fashion, art and more are waiting to be discovered.