Ahhh is it a little bit quiet in our blog? Sorry, we’re still stretching our (brains) muscles from the rest we had during the haj holidays (wut, that was three weeks ago?!). As you all know, we stayed in Riyadh. I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or what but at least we had a good rest. Has traveling taken its toll in our aging bodies? Pffft. Of course not! Wth?! Haha! We’re working on a Pink Tarha project (the perfect excuse every single time, haha!). Anyway, I also did not go out to eat except for an IKEA breakfast that was okay. Any filling food worth SR 8 is good for survival right? Anyway, speaking of survival… I’m pretty sure you’re surviving Riyadh greatly all on your own with no need for any help (except for The Pink Tarha’s haha) but we have been discovering pretty neat apps that make Riyadh living easier! So why don’t you humor me and download them when you feel like I’m making sense in my reasons why they should be in your smartphones. These apps will probably not be needed for your survival but it sure will make your life in Riyadh comfier.
Remember when I always say that we’re living on a prayer? Just because we are. Our lives revolve around the prayer times in Riyadh. And so isn’t it beneficial to know what time are the prayer times for the day? The ladies and I use Muslim Pro for this. While it has more nifty features like the Hijri calendar and the Qibla, it’s the Prayers that we always consult in this app. Even our friends keep on asking us what’s the time of this and that salat cementing our reputation of being the “Know-It-Alls” in Riyadh. Haha. Well, if they can just manage to go to the App Store and get themselves their own Muslim Pro, then they wouldn’t have to ask all the time! Haha! Of course you can also consult the newspaper, Google, and your friends but for something that can always answer your question anytime, then this app is for you. It works even without Internet.
Download from iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/app/id388389451
Download from Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.bitsmedia.android.muslimpro
Don’t you just love it when you can do everything online, especially when you’re in Saudi Arabia? Because for us expats, we don’t know the system fully (I’m not sure if they know all the nitty gritty of their system themselves). Most of the time, we need the government services officer in our companies to help us figure things out when it comes to government-related documents and procedures. Well, there are some things that you can check online and the iOS app from the Ministry of Interior of Saudi Arabia does a good job of eliminating the need to line up for hours and confuse yourselves over trivial things. Of course you need to register first for an account which needs your iqama number (you do have that don’t you?). You can do it in the MOI’s website. Then you need to log in to your account. From this app you can see your traffic violations (good luck), view the validity of your driving license and the cars registered under your name, etc. (everything that involves cars and driving are here but I can’t elaborate on them because I’m female… that’s not my problem because I can’t legally drive in KSA! Uh yeah, as if I know how to in the first place, haha). You can also view family visas issued under your name. Overall, it’s a good app that gives details about you and your “legal” life in Saudi Arabia.
Download from iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/sa/app/imoi-mobile/id660027492?mt=8
3. Taxi Apps
There are so many taxi apps now. Many? Okay, more like five? No matter, get one for yourself because they really make the art of commuting in Riyadh more beautiful, er bearable, especially for us women. We’ve featured a few like Uber, Careem, Easy Taxi, and Smart Taxi. And there’s one more we need to try, Mondo Taxi (for some reason, it doesn’t let me sign up every time I open the app). Personally, I’ve been using Uber most of the time because who doesn’t want to ride in a BMW or Audi almost every day?!? Haha. Kidding. Well, at least I’m assured of a nice and comfy ride every time. However, if I’m penny pinching, I also go for Easy Taxi and Smart Taxi. They use regular cabs but at least I know the driver’s and taxi’s details and forward them to family and friends just in case. I don’t even have to wait by the road side and make ‘para’ (flag down) a taxi. I just look at my phone screen and wait for them to come. While you’ll never know what to get when you order a ride with these taxi apps, it’s easy to leave a feedback just in case you weren’t satisfied with our ride. So, get yourself any of these taxi apps for your escapes to the mall, grocery stores, markets, or wherever you want to go. Or download them all just for the sake of having more options during rush hour and crunch time.
Download from iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/uber/id368677368?mt=8
Download from Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.ubercab
Download from Windows Store: http://www.windowsphone.com/en-us/store/app/uber/b905a877-bd55-4ce7-a7aa-467cdc3a21f4
If it’s your first time, don’t forget to use ThePinkTarha promo code to get your first two rides for free (worth SR 80 each). Valid until December 31, 2014.
Download from iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/smart-taxi-me/id673722583
Download from Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=smart.taxi.pmu.client&hl=en
Download from iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/careem/id592978487?mt=8
Download from Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.careem.acma&hl=en
Download from Windows Store: http://www.windowsphone.com/en-us/store/app/careem/2c9e8e5a-107a-4c8d-b0eb-be749aba21bb
Download from iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/mondo-taxi/id772012874?mt=8
Download from Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.mondotaxi
4. Bank Apps
Again, with the advent of bank apps, you might not even need the taxi apps to go to the bank! Almost everything is within your fingertips including having an access to your bank accounts in your smartphone. I know we’re waiting in line half of our lives but we shouldn’t yannow? If we can eliminate that from errands for the day, then thank you! And so an app for your bank is essential. Our bank is Al-Rajhi and it has a nice mobile app that lets us see our current account (I have 0 btw), credit card account, bank transfers, etc. I mostly use it to send money back home. With this, I don’t have to go to the branch near ours and line up for it. Saves me around 1 hour during payday and 15 minutes during regular days. Most of the Saudi banks offer apps like ANB, NCB (AlAhli Mobile), Banque Saudi Fransi (Fransi Mobile), Riyad Bank, etc. Download links below.
Download from iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/al-rajhi-bank/id431010077?mt=8
Download from Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=es.connectis.mobile.alrajhi&hl=en
ALAHLI MOBILE (NCB)
Download from iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/alahlimobile/id552727118?mt=8&ign-mpt=uo%3D2
Download from Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.alahli.mobile.android
Download from Windows Store: http://www.windowsphone.com/en-us/store/app/alahlimobile/613daa89-3a2d-4de7-817b-2cf49d607c52
FRANSI MOBILE (BANQUE SAUDI FRANSI)
Download from Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.AlFransi&hl=en
RIYADMOBILE (RIYAD BANK)
Download from iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/sa/app/riyadmobile/id718101556?mt=8
Download from Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=riyad.bankingapp.android&hl=en
5. Food Delivery Apps
Obviously, how can we survive without food right?! Haha. Food delivery apps are excuses for lazy asses like me. If I’m too lazy to cook (oh wait, I don’t cook!) or too lazy to go out… my solution would be to have food delivered at home. Perfect! Now, going through my phone directory of restaurants is too much (again, for a lazy ass me) because sometimes I don’t have their numbers and I need to check them out in Google. So, why not go to an app that has it all? Okay, just almost. I love this kind of app when I’m in the Philippines and I’m glad that they have it in Riyadh now. Basically, they gather restaurants in Riyadh that provides delivery in Riyadh in one app and all we need to do is pick our area, choose what kind of cuisine we’re craving for, choose among the restaurants, and pick the dishes we like to order in their online menu! They send an acknowledgement email or message to know that the order has been received. And all we do is wait! Woot. Sometimes, the service is not perfect but they respond nonetheless. The ladies and I mostly use Hellofood and I’ve had a few issues with my experiences but Reina said all her orders came through great.
Download from iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/app/id767588204?mt=8&ls=1
Download from Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.global.hellofood.android
Download from Windows Store: http://www.windowsphone.com/en-us/store/app/hellofood-order-food-delivery/ae44fd61-a759-4ef5-879e-25d25e83ca39
Download from iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/talabat/id451001072?mt=8
Download from Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.talabat&hl=en
Download from iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/app/otlob-saudi/id533447147?mt=8
Download from Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=otlob.UI&hl=en
Download from iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/hungerstation/id596011949?mt=8
Download on Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.hungerstation.android.web
Add-On: Shopping Apps
How can we forget the essence of living in Riyadh?! Haha! If you’re feeling lazy (I have an inkling these apps are making us all lazy) to go out and shop then try downloading and using shopping apps of online stores. It’s quite advantageous to use these apps because traffic in Riyadh has made a turn for the worse; it got more horrendous with the road construction and the volume of cars on the streets and that’s enough reason to glue you in your couches at home. The crowd in some of the city’s most popular malls has also gotten bigger making the shopping experience a bit more stressful than before because you have to wade your through the throng of people out for the night. So again, it’s not such a bad thing to have shopping apps in your smartphones. Our suggestions:
NAMSHI, Middle East’s largest online fashion destination
Download from iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/namshi/id840127349?mt=8
Download from Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.namshi.android
MARKAVIP, Designer brands at discounted prices
Download from iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/markavip/id715290345?mt=8
Download from Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.markavip.app
SOUQ.COM, Middle East’s ‘Ebay’
Download from iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/in/app/souq-deals-shopping-swq/id675000850?mt=8
Download from Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.souq.app
Download the hypermarkets too like Panda and Othaim, the fashion brand MANGO, and the perfume house Paris Gallery.
There are so many apps that you can put in your smartphones. It’s important to put those that can help you immediately too. Ahhhh what will it feel like if we already have The Pink Tarha mobile app?! Haha, it is but a wish right now. Hopefully it will come true soon. 😉 Anyway, happy living in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia!