Saudi Apps Making Their Way Into Gulf, Middle East Countries
After a growth that surpassed 4000%, Saudi developer Ahmad Al-Shamrani plans to promote his "Testahel" application outside Saudi Arabia to reach other countries in the Gulf and the Middle East during 2020.
Shamrani's app isn't the first one to go beyond Saudi Arabia's border, with many other applications developed by Saudi youths reaching the main list of Apple's store in several countries.
In late September, the global technology giant launched an Arabic version of its App Store to allow users to search and view its contents in Arabic.
Speaking to Asharq Al-Awsat, Ahmed Al-Shamrani said that his app allows parents to follow up on their children's behavior, saying that it initially targeted 5,000 users but it reached more than 220,000 users from families and children.
"At the beginning of the year, Apple hosted us in Dubai to speak about our success and experience. Now we plan to expand in each of UAE, Kuwait, Egypt and the rest of the Middle East," he said.
Meanwhile, Safanah Humaid says her "Jamaah" application is no longer limited to Saudi users, especially after Apple's launch of its Arabic version.
"The application targets families, friends, and children. The Arabization of the Apple Store has helped promote applications and made it easier for users to find us, not only in Saudi Arabia but also beyond it."
"Reaching people was the top challenge facing us, but after Apple's move, things got easier and today I have more than two million downloads via Apple Store," she added.
Another application developed by Saudi Othman Abahussain, "Nala" has gained more than 100,000 downloads from 20 countries around the world.
Othman says: "It's a medical app that allows users to speak with doctors, book an appointment, and receive medical advice. Operating around the world was almost impossible, however, Apple provided payment methods via its store to make it easier for markets such as Saudi Arabia."
Ayman Al Sanad and Naif Al Samri developed the "Mrsool" app, which is an on-demand delivery network that allows people to place orders for any product from anywhere. They said the success they achieved in the kingdom encouraged them to start up again in Egypt and Bahrain and to make plans to reach other countries.