Interview: App Developers

•August 20, 2016 • Leave a Comment

Taking to smart solutions to save time, money

By Jamil Khan @ The Gulf Today-Sharjah, Aug 20, 2016

DUBAI: With 92 per cent of active internet users in the UAE, the population in the country is witnessing a transformation of daily services through internet solutions such as interactive smart mobile applications and smart city solutions.
Professionals in the field of computer sciences either through the platform of organisations or individuals, have been converting their expertise into profitable business to develop smart phone applications for the huge number of smart phone users. This development has also made the country a hotspot for young tech entrepreneurs.
To ease the motorist dilemma of parking, Adnan Masood, a former director of marketing at a telecom firm, came up with an idea. In early 2016, while working in Dubai Media City, he launched Park Key.
He noticed that while many people go around in circles looking for parking, there were many spaces sitting vacant in nearby buildings. He thought out of the box for a solution where people can book parking online as well as leverage the sharing economy to maximise utilisation of the parking spaces.
Prior to moving to Dubai to take up a senior role at the telecom company, Masood led marketing teams in Australia for tier one companies in the ICT industry. The smart phone app he developed is free and available online through and Android play store. Users can pay for parking online when booking the parking spot for the duration of their choice.
Park Key charges are a small percentage of the processing fee for each booking. “No booking and no fees, as it is a very cost-effective solution for parking lots to go digital without any investment in IT and mobile apps,” he said.
For a while, Masood had been thinking of setting up a startup. The app is the first that he has launched commercially. “We plan to roll out the platform in multiple countries as well as introduce more features to enrich it,” he said.
He mentioned that Park Key is in line with “Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s vision for a Smart Dubai, where users can book services online, among other smart city initiatives.
Furthermore, was launched in January. It is a mobile responsive web app designed to make online car rentals highly convenient for customers. “We partner with hundreds of local car rental companies in the UAE to get great savings and a wide variety of car models available online for our customers,” said Hassan Siddiqi, CEO EjarCar, in an interview with The Gulf Today.
The website is mobile friendly so one can browse from any device. The company is planning to launch dedicated mobile apps shortly.
Siddiqi mentioined that “it is a great app for people looking for fantastic car rental deals. You can get the right car at the right time at the right price with It is also a highly convenient way to book a car quickly with minimum hassle or haggling with car rental companies.”
In August 2012, he launched which is currently generating traffic of over 500,000 unique users. “Our future plans include building dedicated mobile apps for iOS and Android. In addition, we plan on launching an Arabic website dedicated to customers in Saudi Arabia and other GCC countries.
“The biggest benefit of a mobile app should be saving time and money. Our app helps customers save money on rental cars and save time in the booking process so the car gets delivered to them as soon as possible,” he added.

Interview: Ayub Afridi

•August 20, 2016 • Leave a Comment

Dubai-based businessman appointed honorary CG in Peshawar

By Jamil Khan @ The Gulf Today-Sharjah, Aug 19, 2016

DUBAI: A well-known Dubai-based businessman and head of Pak Khyber Wing, Ayub Afridi, has been awarded more responsibilities for services to the community by being appointed as the honorary Consul General of Romania in Peshawar, Pakistan recently.
The prominent businessman hails from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province and has been a resident of Dubai for a long time.
He is also actively involved in welfare activities with the Pakistani community in Dubai.
He is also the chairman of the Pak Khyber Wing, a body under Pakistan Association Dubai (PAD) and known widely among the community for his participation in a wide range of activities.
Talking to The Gulf Today on the phone, he said: “The appointment gives me confidence; I hope it is fruitful not only for the business community in KP but for our students to be given opportunities to seek higher education in Romanian universities.”
He added that the appointment will help – not only citizens of Peshawar but the province as a whole. The office is located in Peshawar but he has been appointed for all KPK people.
“Our plans to increase trade with Romania aim to bolster a suitable environment to bring investors from Romania to our KPK Province – as I believe we can benefit from such a step.”
He also assured the community that “we will try to send students to Romania to seek further higher education and learn from them as they have good number of universities in science and technology.
“It will also benefit people from the province, as it will be easier for them to get all the information they need about Romania and then decide accordingly. We will be there to guide them and help them,” he said.
The ceremony to open the honorary consulate in Peshawar was attended by Iqbal Zafar Jhagra, Governor, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Asad Qaiser, Speaker, Provincial Assembly KP, Ambassador of Romania Eilion Ion, ambassadors of Bosnia, Tanzania and Sri Lanka and a number of prominent businessmen.
The members of the Pak Khyber Wing and PAD also welcomed the move and said that the appointment of Afridi as Honorary CG of Romania in Peshawar will strengthen relations between the two countries and other bilateral relations like trade, tourism, and education will be heightened and bring more opportunities for local business communities.

Sky’s The Limit

•August 19, 2016 • Leave a Comment

RECENTLY a picture was viral and ‘social media warriors’ rather than to understand the message and the intention of the person who circulate the picture, they initiated the argue on the authenticity of the content.
Okay, the picture was indeed a combo of Najat Belkacem, a Morocco lady who was seen as young girl as shepherd in rugs photograph somewhere inRandom Read1 the countryside of her birthplace and the other showed of a young lady in high-end dressed proudly marching through the stairs of a government building as a French Minister of Higher Education.
The story of a shepherd girl to rose in the French politics and became minister twice during, Ayrault government and Valls government, pave the way for anyone who believe in hard-work, justice and a fair system to provide anyone a high post who dare to dream.
There are innumerable stories of individuals who rose high and told the world that there is no power on earth who stop anyone to dream a dream and live his dream and proved that sky’s is the limits.
We should not pass our judgment hastily on any post for the sake of putting something in the comment box. There are people who deserve to salute and learn something from their life stories.

Pak I-Day

•August 15, 2016 • Leave a Comment

Pakistanis celebrate Independence Day with national enthusiasm
By Jamil Khan @ The Gulf Today-Sharjah, Aug 15, 2016

DUBAI: Thousands of Pakistani families throughout the UAE celebrated the country’s 70th Independence Day with traditional and national enthusiasm by participating in two major ceremonies held in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.
The major flag-hoisting ceremony was held at the Pakistan Embassy in Abu Dhabi led by Dr Faisal Aziz Ahmed, Charge d’Affaires.
The ceremony was also attended by a large number of community members including businessmen, teachers, professionals and others who reside in the capital and Al Ain.
Beside the flag hoisting with the community Ahmed also read out the messages of the President and Prime Minister of Pakistan in front of the audience.
The community also offered prayers for the martyrs, including those who lost their lives in the recent Quetta suicide blast and other terrorist activities throughout the country in the last couple of decades.
A similar ceremony was held in the Pakistan Consulate in Dubai led by Samar Javed to hoist the national flag in the presence of community members who gathered in the early morning at the premises.
He read out the Messages of the President and Prime Minister of Pakistan.
A large number of UAE-based Pakistanis including families and local dignitaries, including Sohail Zarooni, also attended the ceremony.
Javed, Acting Consul General, paid tribute to the visionary leadership of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah and recounted the sacrifices of the people during their struggle for freedom as well as in the war against terror.
He commended the Pakistani community for their contributions in the progress and development of the UAE.
He recalled the excellent fraternal relations between Pakistan and the UAE and stated that the two countries have always stood by each other through thick and thin. He expressed his gratitude to the UAE’s leadership for their consistent support to the people of Pakistan.
“This community should reflect well on our country, acting as ambassadors who abide by local laws.
“The visionary leadership provided huge job opportunities to over a million Pakistanis in the country.
“The consulate has started to improve various services and now it is the need of the hour for the community to get maximum benefits,” he said.
Families and children attired in national dress with flags and buntings were seen everywhere in the consulate.
Media photographers did not miss a single moment of national enthusiasm.
As a regular feature, a massive cake on the occasion was also cut and distributed among the audience.
However, the Independence Day ceremony at the Dubai consulate concluded with prayers for progress, prosperity and solidarity of the country.

Hungarian Games In Dubai

•August 13, 2016 • Leave a Comment

Indoor attractions entice gamers into unique experiences
Hungarian Game-2
By Jamil Khan @ The Gulf Today-Sharjah, Aug 13, 2016

DUBAI: The future of indoor games is bright as more and more people intend to explore the latest edition of exotic games after setting foot in Dubai with its blend of technology and experts.
Gaming enthusiasts are already fed up with the opportunities around them and are hungry to find other alternatives.
This was stated by Gabor Toth Vadnai, the gaming supervisor at the newly established indoor facility, the Hungarian Games in Dubai, while talking to The Gulf Today.
“Games like ‘Escape room’ based on Flow Theory are one of a growing trend among the local game enthusiasts.
“The theory introduced by Hungarian psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi has already proven satisfactory throughout the world,” he said.
According to the theory, once someone does an activity which fascinates him or her, it increases the brain’s overall performance, like focusing and concentrating on the details which helps in everyday life.
“Playing ‘Escape Room’ is all about using your brain and doing positive teamwork.
“Even if any of the participating team members did not succeed in escaping in the 60 minutes, they already feel the difference and understand the powerful impact of Flow theory,” said Vadnai, who monitors all three escape rooms through the use of closed-circuit cameras.
If gamers need, they provide a little help to the participants so they can proceed further in the game.
He explained that as children, it was easier for us to lose ourselves in our imaginations and play, creating flow experiences for ourselves.
We would spend hours locked in an activity, and yet feel as if only minutes or seconds had passed from start to finish.
As adults, those flow experiences become more difficult to attain, because we stopped learning how to engage joyfully with our activities.
Hungarian Games are about recapturing the ability to create and engage in a flow experience.
The newly established Hungarian Games facility since 2014 in Al Quoz is equipped with games like Escape Rooms, Opti-golf and an art room known as ‘szines’ to cater to the needs of local gamers who dare to try something different.
Para Park with three escape rooms is a team game for 60 minutes.
In order to escape, one needs to look for clues, solve riddles, use different objects and do lots of thinking and achieving results like fun, challenge, and engage as teamwork to improve communication skills.
Faisal Mumtaz, the software engineer at the HG, shed light on other activities like Opti-golf and art room.
“The state-of-the-art Opti-golf is fully computerised with sensors and a simulator where the gamers come to learn all about professional golf with the help of real-time technology assistant and professional golfer who explains the skills.
“People love to play golf with the help of technology and later impress their colleagues and friends in real life by demonstrating these new skills,” he said.
Young children from the age of 10 also have a favourite corner, an art room known as ‘szines’, the Hungarian word for art, where not only kids but teams from the corporate sector also receive benefits from being involved in drawing and painting as part of the series of activities set to provide mind-skill enhancement based on flow theory.
Vadnai mentioned that it is the first such facility in Dubai, and the number of gamers increases on a day-to-day basis.
“This is a unique concept, and our marketing departments devised an extensive strategy to spread the word to the masses; from the corporate sector to academic institutions in the coming months, which we are assured will work as we intended,” he added.

PAD: Pakistan Centre

•August 11, 2016 • Leave a Comment

Pakistan Centre to cater to local expat community
By Jamil Khan @ The Gulf Today-Sharjah, Aug 11, 2016

DUBAI: The Pakistan Association Dubai (PAD) has announced the details of “Pakistan Centre” a landmark project for the community to be launched on Aug.14, under the slogan one “one nation — one dream”.
The announcement was made in a press conference on Tuesday evening at the association by Dr Fauisal Ikram, General Secretary of the PAD, along with other office-bearers.
The Pakistan Centre will be equipped with a medical facility, gym, restaurant, offices block and masjid to cater the needs of the community based in Dubai. The project will be completed in 18-months with an estimated cost of Dhs12 million as the funds will be raised via the “Own a brick” initiative to gather 12,000 donors.
“The community will have a great chance to participate in this project by buying a brick and paying Dhs1,000 which will bring them various benefits besides the membership of the association.
“We need maximum participation from the community, and 10 people together could buy a brick for Dhs100 each,” said Ikram.
The project will be a non-for-profit centre and will be first-of-its-kind in the GCC countries by any expatriate community.
The ground floor will consists of office block, masjid and restaurant, on the first floor of the medical centre with facilities like the dental lab and laboratory, fitness and rehabilitation centre, meeting rooms, children play area.
The addition of these facilities will cater to social welfare needs of the community.
“We believe that the health of a community is directly related to the well-being of its communal health.
“Our community is fortunate enough to have many gifted doctors in all major specialties across the region.
“Hence with a firm commitment to accessibility and empowerment, the clinic is expected to open in eighteen to twenty months and will operate, six days a week, in the premises of the association,” he said.
The community development authority (CDA) and Dubai Health Authority (DHA) has already granted the approval while cooperation from Economic Department, UAE-Red Crescent and Dar Al Ber Society also sought for this project as higher officials from these will be attending the launching ceremony on Aug 14, the office-bearers told the media.
A social and recreational club is considered incomplete without a quality themed restaurant, children play area, health fitness areas, with modern and contemporary office block and meeting rooms.  All such facilities are part of the plan.
The formal launch of the project will be held on Aug 14, while the Chief Guest of the event will be Dr Abdul Bari Khan, CEO of Indus Hospital, Karachi.
Doctors, specialist from various prominent Dubai-based hospitals will serve in the medical centre while the fee will be nominal as the PAD working to launch health club membership for the community in the coming days.

New Ambassador to UAE

•August 10, 2016 • Leave a Comment

New Pakistan Ambassador and CG named for UAE

By Jamil Khan @ The Gulf Today-Sharjah, Aug 09, 2016

DUBAI: Moazzam Ahmed Khan, a prominent diplomat, has been appointed as the new Pakistan Ambassador to the UAE. He was supposed to take charge on Aug.13 but according to sources the final date will be announced soon.
“The new ambassador to the UAE is still fulfilling his official duties in Holland and has not handed over his duties to resume in Abu Dhabi yet,” an official told The Gulf Today on Monday.
The former ambassador, Asif Ali Durrani, who completed his 3-year tenure has returned to Pakistan last month following which the government announced the new ambassador.
It is also mentioned that the other key post in the Pakistan mission, Consul General in Dubai, was also vacant for over two months after Javed Jalil Khattak returned to Pakistan.
However, the government of Pakistan has appointed the new Consul General. Brigadier Retired Javed will be the new Consul General and resume his duties later this month. Currently, Summar Javed, a senior officer, has been serving as acting Consul General.
Two close relatives of Asif Ali Durrani have died in the Quetta bomb blast, sources in the Dubai Consulate confirmed. The former ambassador hails from Balochistan and resides in Quetta where he joined the civil service and also served the government.


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