Why is Dubai Soon Becoming a Hub of Homegrown Apps?

Homegrown Apps

Saudi Arabia has the second largest oil reserves in the world. This estimates to approximately 260 billion barrels (41 km3), which comes out to be one-quarter of world's total oil reserves. This is one of the triggers for the Dirham’s weakness from 2013 to 2018. All the major economic activities in Saudi Arabia are controlled by the government as it is essentially an oil-based economy.

Saudi Arabia is part of major trade organizations like WTO, OPEC, G-20 major economies, BIS, ICS, IOS, WCO, GCC, World Bank IMF etc. and has been seeking monetary help from World Trade Organization but it strongly fears that it will soon run out of these cash reserves if some strict measures are not taken within time.

Development of any new mobile app or any new technology can subsequently lead to one of the two diametrically-opposed social outcomes: It can either help balance the distribution of global wealth or it can pierce into economic and social inequality. This kind of revolution has led to a flexion that has no limits.

Significance of Mobile App Development Services

There has been a significant rise in mobile app technology in past decade with a major input from data analytics, e-commerce, and Blockchain – which have been evolving at break-neck speed and have been bridging the gap between the rich and poor.

Dubai has been witnessing a deep surge in the use of mobile apps latterly due to dip in oil prices and slumping economy. The turning point is watching the global spread of technology to realize the potential of informal learning through mobile and improve access to education for young people in developing countries like Ghana, Uganda, Morocco, and Maharashtra, in India, checking out their aspirations, meeting employment challenges and monitoring the use of mobile phones.

As an extension to this, money transfer and micro-financing options like M-Pesa, Safaricom, and PayTM have been subservient in picking up almost 2,00,000 Kenyan households out of poverty.  The mobile user base is expanding and this now includes nearly 200 million users including women and rural families which are increasingly becoming part of the digital economy.

Distilling the conversation further, three-factors can be considered as an opportunity for the Middle East companies to produce companies with similar core competencies. Read further:

Factor 1: Necessity is the first and foremost factor that has caused the Middle East to seek innovative ideas so that they can cover up the persistent gap between rich and poor. Saudi Arabian economy faced a major slump in its oil prices earlier in 2016. The crude oil that was being sold at $100 per barrel till 2014 was getting sold at just $26 barrel in 2016. The subsequent budget deficit also led to a drop in foreign exchange reserves by $116 in 2017. The fluctuations in oil prices prevail for a long period causing $100 to get reduced to $30 in just 6 years of time. If took 24 years for the oil prices to improve and that too by just $10. This caused per capita GDP to get reduced from $54,500 to $31,000. The rich have become richer and the poor have become poorer. This region tops the list of regions with economic inequality globally. Almost 86% of the adult population is under-banked and richer people have access to almost 60-66% of income in that area. Subsequently, there is a tremendous opportunity for mobile app development services as under-bankers do not have access to traditional financial institutions like banks.

Factor 2: UAE Government have been investing in innovative ideas of entrepreneurs to grow and diversify their economies. The emergence of mobile banking technology has brought accounting and remittances to the largely unbanked migrant worker population in GCC.

Startups like Uhoncho and Ennota have provided freelancers and unbanked small business owners to manage their expenses, track profits and loses, and analyze the key business financials.

Organizations like Solfeh and Maliyya have built mobile apps - Sharia-compliant platforms for lending and borrowing, customized for Muslims whose religious beliefs prevent them from making financial transactions and making use of traditional banking services.

Factor 3: One elementary concern is that voice-calls outperform as compared to data in poor and developing countries which remain an emerging market for other data-enabled devices and smartphone market. The primary reason for this is cost and a shortage of money. Most of the people have accessed the internet on their mobile devices.

How the mobile app development services have affected middle-east?

Venture capitalists are not holding back, despite the baffling economic environment. Startups have been able to raise funds substantially right from the beginning of 2018 including BitOasis, Luxury Closet, and SocialDice. Additionally, a Dubai-based speeding startup Turn 8 was recently able to raise $60 million in series A-level funding planned to invest in graduates.

Forbes has scrutinized a list of 50 promising startups out of which 28 have already been able to raise a minimum of $1 million (for a total of at least $160 million from corporate venture firms venture firms and angel investors). Careem, Abraaj Group, Souqalmal, Fetchr, Instashop, ReserveOut, Talabat, Eat Easily, Food on Click and various others are fueling the growth of similar mobile app startups.

Terse Concision

Strict government regulations and tough economic environments have not been able to restrict mobile app development services startups to raise funds. The main reason for currency's depreciation has almost halved in 5 years from 2013 to 2018. But electronic exports coupled with the evolution of supporting software are the new gold. Increasing use of mobile phones, high-speed internet have necessitated the use of mobile apps. Tech startups have been extending their efforts towards bridging the gap between surging demand and supply of information on time, complying with the local regulations for global companies. Organizations of all sizes from small, medium to large have launched their mobile applications to engage the maximum audience and save their time simultaneously.

Negotiating the extended process, it can be established as to how mobile industry will gel up with the international community, in creating mobile learning services and support that can improve learning, teaching and finally promote development in long-term.

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