Unique market, unique startup – what can we learn from the UAE’s gurus?

Every country has its fair share of small businesses and startups. This trend is only increasing as more people become equipped with the knowledge, tools, and specific skills required to run their own businesses.

While starting your own business is considered a spectacular idea, one of the fundamental steps you need to take is to ideally come up with an original idea and develop a competitive advantage.

As technology vastly takes over business operations around the globe and revolutionises methods of business conduction, there are ample opportunities available for technology entrepreneurs to break into a thriving business segment. Coming up with technological innovations can not only earn one big bucks, but can also set one apart from competitors and open doors that were previously unknown.

One of these doors is to access the UAE market, as the prospering business environment of the region provides abundant opportunities for technology gurus to strike gold and facilitate thousands of people with their technological innovation.

Technological solutions for unique problem

So, you have visited Dubai and witnessed its majestic splendour and everything it has to offer, right? Have you ever gotten lost? No, I don’t mean lost as in mesmerised. I mean literally lost. A lesser known fact to non-residents about Dubai is that it is devoid of postcodes and thus, visitors and residents have to rely upon street names to find their way.

While this can be rather confusing, technology has saved people from a lot of frustration and wastage of time. A smartphone application by the name of Makani was developed by Dubai Municipality in order to enable people to find addresses with accuracy up to the last square meter.

Makani operates on both iOS and Android devices and can easily be used when it is downloaded on your device. Once downloaded, you are allotted a 10-digit Makani number which identifies where you are. Every building that requires an address is given a Makani number and allows users to navigate the roads with utmost convenience. Scared of getting lost? You won’t anymore!

Read more: Address discovery startup OkHi dubbed Seedstars Nairobi winner

Namra Mansoor, a working mother of two, says how much easier it is now to navigate the roads:

“I had immense trouble finding my friends’ places or finding specific clinics or shops I needed to visit for the kids. However, I do not have to keep asking for directions anymore. I just ask for the Makani number of where I am going and get there much quicker.”

Real estate goes hi-tech

The real estate sector in UAE is one of the most flourishing, and promising markets in the world. Therefore, a high amount of interaction and information exchange between buyers and sellers, agents, and other involved parties is always necessary. While traditionally, clients used to hunt property brokerages for available options, property firms can now be taken to the clients instead.

Read more: 15 impressive startups from emerging markets you should know about

Bayut.com, a leading property web portal providing in-depth and accurate information regarding the UAE’s realty sector, provides this type of service. The web portal features all types of properties and allows clients to find a suitable agent to work with as well. Bayut.com was founded by Haider Ali Khan- and his two brothers, Zeeshan and Imran Ali Khan who are also the owners of Pakistan’s renowned property portal, Zameen.com.

Bayut.com started with a website that provided buyers and sellers with a platform to interact and has gradually grown to be a highly respected and reliable source of information for existing and potential investors in the UAE realty sector.

Khan explains how his team used Dubai’s unique market to its advantage:

“However, prior experience suggested that businesses which provide clients with generous advice, ample information, and them empowered them to make their own decisions were highly likely to succeed. It is always a surefire way to ensure clients keep coming back as they love the freedom of choice with the benefits of expert advice.”

Khan believes that the success of Bayut.com lies in the fact that the portal has been a means for the success of others. Thus, Bayut.com continues to add to its visitors and has also received substantial financial backing to support its endeavour. The rest as they say, is history.

Several technological gurus have aimed to conquer the business arena and while exceptional innovations such as Bayut.com do exist, there is certainly room for more. What’s next? How about an anti-aging app?

Image by Steffen Ramsaier via Flickr

Azam Mahmood Butt


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