May 23, 2017

The best navigation apps to use in the UAE

Are you planning to go on a roadtrip? Nowadays, you wouldn’t have to study a whole map to get your destination without committing a few unintended detours. Luckily for us here in UAE, apps that rely on GPS tracking systems are a big help to tourists and commuters alike. We list down some of the best navigation apps that always accurately point you to the exact location that you need to be in. Best thing of them all? They’re FREE.

Google Maps

Photo courtesy of Icons 8

Google Maps is a free web-based service that lets its users navigate any geographical location on Earth. Google bought a high-resolution satellite imaging company called Skybox specifically to ensure the accuracy of the app.

Photo courtesy of Green Prophet

Furthermore, Google Maps is the first app to offer “route planning”, where you just have to plug in your exact address and the address of your destination to get the estimated travel time and possible routes you can traverse either by walking, cycling, driving, or commuting. Google Maps also provides live traffic updates to save you the hassle from finding it out once you’re already stuck on the road buildup yourself.



Photo courtesy of Waze

A lot of residents in Dubai who are avid users of Google Maps are shifting to Waze, and for good reason—the information churned out by the app in real-time is based on real people’s reports who would want to notify their fellow travellers. Waze takes the time to study these comments to produce a more efficient route for the user.

Photo courtesy of Cool APK

The idea to display socially-driven data makes it the first navigation app to do so, and it gave Google Maps a run for its money in terms of efficiency and accuracy. Waze also displays the cheapest fuel prices within your location. Obviously impressed by the competition’s innovations, Google bought Waze for 1 billion USD (3.67 billion AED) in 2013.


Smart Drive

Photo courtesy of Google Play and Emirates 24|7

You don’t hear a lot of successful apps from government agencies, however Smart Drive is an impressive exception. Dubai’s Roads and Transportation Authority (RTA) developed this app, and is the only navigation app in this list that does not require an internet connection to work.

Smart Drive also allows its users to report traffic jams and road accidents. This allows the user to directly elicit a response from nearby law enforcers and paramedics. Moreover, it can provide up to three routes to your destination with the corresponding distance and travel time.


Which is your favorite among these three? Let us know!