By Karen Leigh www.arabianbusiness.com
Dubai-based internet startup, Yadig.com, which provides real-time feedback on restaurants and entertainment, has revealed the UAE’s top five most popular restaurants and entertainment outlets, as picked by its uses.
The site sourced more than 1,500 local user reviews to rank the best eateries, night clubs, bars and coffee shops in the Gulf state.
Topping the list of restaurants were Zuma, Japanese hotspot Okku, the local outpost of global hit Bice, clubby Buddha Bar and More Cafe.
They were matched by clubs Boudoir, 400 Night, Trilogy, Chi @ the Lodge and People by Crystal.
Hotels – especially popular among expats – featured usual suspects the Jumeirah Beach (alongside its bar-heavy Madinat Jumeirah arm), the One and Only Royal Mirage, the Shangri-la, Le Meridian and The Address Dubai Marina.
Bars themselves were headlined by Barasti, Caramel, Jambase, Rock Bottom and McGettigan’s Irish Pub.
The site also ranked coffee spots – easily the most-accessed eateries. Starbucks, Vivel Coffee Shop, Costa, Paul Café and the Flying Kiwi were most popular among both nationals and expats.
Yadig, founded by 28-year-old Emirati-American Saif Abdul Rahim Al Zarouni, recently launched both mobile and Blackberry applications as it looks to expand its reviews to include categories from salons to healthcare providers.
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.
“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,” Al Zarouni told Arabian Business.
“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.”