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Yadig to launch iPhone, Blackberry applications
Dubai-based Yadig.com will unveil an i Phone & Blackberry applications in the next two weeks
“With what we’re doing, you have to have a mobile app,” Johnny Huntington, Yadig’s chief technology officer, said in an interview with Arabian Business. “[They] go hand in hand.”
Soon, Yadig’s users will also be able to see restaurant picks in Dubai and around the GCC by clicking on map locations, which will be available online and on mobile devices via the new applications.
“We want to expand to other markets – we’re GCC based, but we also want to spread to Jordan, Syria, the rest of the MENA region,” said CEO Saif Abdul Rahim Al Zarouni. “We want to add [reviews for] medical services, financial services, salons – if you come to a city, would you know where to get your hair done? We’re expanding.”
Users have a dashboard that shows them their review buddies, and are notified when those users post reviews or when something new opens in their designated city.
Having watched its technological aspirations simmer far below the ranks of the US, India and Europe, the Middle East is finally starting to see young tech entrepreneurs break through.
“There’s fertile ground for startups in the Middle East,” Huntington said.
“In the last couple of years a lot of people have been starting up in the Middle East. It’s still raw in terms of ideas and business, but a lot of these dot-coms are starting to pop up,” Al Zarouni said.
The 28-year-old Al Zarouni, born to an Emirati father and American mother, attended Auburn University in the US and moved back to the UAE permanently in 2004. Yadig was founded out of frustration with existing review sites, he said.
“People were always asking, ‘where do you want to go tonight?’ What do you want to eat?’ They needed a place to go that would have reviews. You might not have the same taste as your friends and family.”
Yadig was launched last month. The site, which was self-financed, incorporates elements of social networking portals such as Facebook and open-review sites such as Yelp.
The site currently employs ten staff, all of whom are expats.
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Yadig.com is a review based, crowd created, and networking website. Yadig helps stimulate, sustain and renew long lasting business-consumer relationships through customer generated reviews.