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Top 8 Food Delivery Apps in UAE

Food Delivery Apps in UAE

On-demand service applications, especially online food delivery apps in the UAE have become super popular because of their user experience and market acceptance. With intuitive navigation, user-centric features, secure transactions and minimal interfaces, most food delivery businesses have merged groceries to take the experience to the next level. With a blend like this one, food delivery applications have actually revolutionised how users decide what to eat, when and how! As one of the best mobile app development company, we often get queries from our clients asking about whether mobile food delivery is still a viable business venture because of the market saturation and competition. And if you too are an aspiring entrepreneur planning to build and launch an app in this industry, here are UAE’s food delivery apps that will give you major development and monetization goals.

How do food delivery apps in UAE work?

Before you dive deeper into the current successful UAE food delivery apps, let’s take a quick look at how this online food delivery model actually works.

In a typical restaurant, visitors would go, place an order mostly on self-service now, they’ll pick up and choose to dine-in or takeaway. In online food delivery apps, users can order from the same restaurants, choose to pay via cash or card, and get food delivered at doorstep.

Now these restaurants, whether they have a brick-and-mortar presence or not, serve their customers online – this model is called ‘cloud kitchen’. A food delivery app works as a platform, or a marketplace where these restaurants, often more than thousands in a region, get orders and the system is super automated so they don’t have to bring in users and take care of the UX. The platform, like Careem, or Talabat serving connecting users with restaurants is called a cloud kitchen platform, or, in its simplest terms, a food delivery app.

How do food delivery apps make money?

Like other mobile applications, food delivery apps also utilize a hybrid monetization model comprising commissions, advertisements and sponsored content, featured listings and platform fees. While the major revenue comes from restaurants that choose to receive orders and deliver through the food delivery apps in UAE, a fraction also comes from other major stakeholders like riders, in form of rider fees, and from users in form of premium subscription.

UAE’s Food Delivery Apps For Development Inspiration

1.      Careem UAE

Careem is a super application with multiple on-demand solutions, like ride-hailing, food and grocery delivery, utility bill and ticket reservation services. Careem has created an exemplary user experience even while combining multiple important services in one interface.

The top features of Careem’s food delivery interface include multiple online payment options called ‘Pay Anyone’, real-time order tracking, Careem Rewards loyalty program and free delivery, wide variety of cuisines, restaurants and quick service food shops and in-app delivering scheduling.

How does Careem food delivery app make money?

Careem’s food delivery app in UAE has a comprehensive monetization strategy comprising:

  1. Delivery fees

While Careem does offer free delivery as rewards, a strong percentage of its money comes from the delivery fees, which vary based on factors such as delivery distance, total order value, applied promotions and vouchers.

 Commission from Restaurants

Careem’s food delivery division earns revenue by charging participating restaurants a commission on each order.

  1. Careem Plus

Careem also makes money with its subscription program, where users pay AED 19 per month for premium features like free delivery on order over minimum order value, 20% off on home cleaning services, 10% off laundry services, 10% instant credit back on 10 rides, etc.

  1. Promotional Partnerships

Careem food delivery partners with restaurants, food brands, and other businesses to promote special offers and featured menu items within the app. These partnerships also pay commission and ad fees to Careem.

  1. Advertising

Careem has an in-app ad program where it shows sponsored content and featured listing. Advertisers pay for ad placements within the app contributing to Careem’s overall monetization model.

Careem’s Rating

Currently it’s one of the top 5 food delivery apps in the UAE with 50M+ downloads, 4.3 stars on the Google Play and 4.6 stars on App Store.

2.      Talabat

Talabat is the most popular food delivery app in UAE that recently expanded its services to medicine, groceries and flowers delivery. With the UAE, the app is also popular in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Oman, Qatar, Jordan and Egypt. Currently, Talabat has 5000+ restaurants onboard and 1M+ food options. According to Statista, Talabat had the largest market share of 76% and was the top food delivery app in Dubai, beating Careem and Deliveroo.

In addition to food delivery, Talabat has a strong donations program which, as of now, has made a difference with €6.2m million worth donations and 3.8M meals from 267,288 donations.

Talabat also offers typical food delivery features like real-time order tracking, donations and strong CSR program, extensive restaurant network, promotion and offers.

How does Talabat make money?

Talabat’s monetization model is based on:

  1. Ad program

Talabat has an in-app ad program where it shows sponsored content and featured food listings from partner restaurants.

  1. Delivery charges

Talabat earns delivery charges on each order, a solid percentage from which goes to delivery riders and logistics partners.

  1. Restaurant commissions

Talabat charges 10-15% per order on the bill from the restaurants.

  1. Talabat Pro

Like Careem food delivery app, Talabat also has a subscription program that literally costs the same AED 19 per month but the benefits are less compared to Careem because of its limited interface and coverage of services.

Talabat’s Rating

With 10M+ downloads, Talabat has 4.5 stars on App Store, and 3.6 stars on Google Play, which is likely because of the app upgrades Talabat has been making in the past 2 years.

3.      Deliveroo

Deliveroo is a prominent, dedicated grocery and food delivery app in UAE and UK. According to the product development strategists at CMOLDS UAE, this UK-based food delivery app gives our mobile app developers in UAE major development goals because of its credibility on leading app marketplaces. The app has high-end user experience, minimal user interface but visually appealing design and user-centric features.

Key features of Deliveroo food delivery app include typical ones like online payment, order tracking and delivery scheduling, but what distinguishes Deliveroo from rest of the food delivery apps in UAE is its personalized recommendation system. It uses algorithms that suggest relevant food and dining options based on users’ past orders.

How does Deliveroo make money?

The monetization model of Deliveroo comprises:

  1. Restaurant commissions

Most of Deliveroo’s revenue comes from the commissions it charges from the restaurants that choose to delivery and sell through Dleiveroo’s platform.

  1. Delivery charges

Deliveroo manages its rider fleet – so it also makes a small fee on every delivery.

  1. Deliveroo Plus

Deliveroo takes a step ahead in premium subscription plans by introducing two different packages – gold and silver, charging AED 29 and AED 19 per month respectively. With these packages, users get free deliveries, lower service fees on orders and access to exclusive offers and promotions.

Deliveroo Rating

The app has 10M active users, with 4.6 stars, both on Google Play and App Store.

4.      Noon

Noon is a prominent Middle Eastern super application with a dedicated interface that brings great culinary experiences to the doorstep of users. The app is super credible and popular amongst the users in UAE despite the many features it has combined in one mobile application.

Like other food delivery apps in UAE, Noon has made its delivery service completely cashless with multiple online payment options and they also work with the ecommerce side of the app. The distinguishing features of Noon app are its super fast delivery models like Noon Now Now and Noon Rocket.

How does Noon app make money?

Noon’s monetization model is comprehensive because of its ecommerce and online shopping coverage. Here is a quick breakdown of its revenue stream:

  1. Ecommerce integration

Noon also has a strong ecommerce marketplace which contributes at least 40% to the platform’s overall revenue.

  1. B2B partnerships and affiliate marketing

Noon does sponsorships with brands and strategically place the featured listings in promotions with existing menus to make money off each sale.

  1. Sponsored content

Noon has an in-app ad program that earns revenue from featured grocery and restaurant listings.

  1. Delivery fees and restaurant commissions

Like typical food delivery apps in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, Noon also makes money by charging commission on food orders and deliveries.

Noon’s Rating

Noon food delivery app maintains a 4.6 stars rating on Google Play and 4.4 on App Store, with more than 10M downloads. Considering its strong user experience and satisfied customer base, Noon is definitely one of the best food delivery apps in UAE.

5.      Instashop

InstaShop is another food delivery super app in UAE that also offers medicines, pet care items, grocery, perfumes, cosmetics and tech accessories from diverse vendors. It works like a multi-brand ecommerce store, with a strong interface design for food delivery.

It features deals and rewards, free delivery options, a standard delivery time between 30 to 60 mins as its unique selling proposition. Definitely, there are other apps like Deliveroo and Noon that deliver much faster than InstaShop.

While the ratings of InstaShop are fine, users are mostly frustrated because of the app’s customer service and support system. If you’re planning to develop a food delivery app, this is a gap you can fill with in-app, 24/7 chat-based customer support system.

How does InstaShop make money?

  1. Restaurant commissions

Like typical UAE food delivery apps, InstaShop also makes money from food orders and deducts commissions from restaurant payouts.

  1. Grocery

A good chunk of InstaShop’s earnings of also comes from its grocery sales.

InstaShop Ratings

As a top food delivery app in UAE, InstaShop has maintained a decent rating of 4.1 on Google Play and 4.7 on App Store with almost 1M users around the Middle East.

6.      Hungerstation

Slightly different in demographics from the other UAE food delivery apps, Hungerstation was actually founded and launched in Saudi Arabia during 2012 – and since then, it has maintained a reputation as an online grocery and food ordering application. Currently, it also connects 50,000 restaurants to users in KSA and Bahrain.

Hungerstation boasts effortless user registration with multilingual support for diverse population. Users can track orders in real time, schedule for later and choose to pay cash or online. To further enhance the user experience, the app hosts features like filters, push notifications and take away booking.

How does Hungerstation food delivery app make money?

Hungerstation’s monetization model depends on:

  1. Food orders

Hungerstation earns commissions and percentages from delivery fees on online food orders booked and delivered through the platform. It also makes between 1 – 3% of the takeaway orders.

  1. Hungerstation market

Like a typical online grocery delivery app, Hungerstation hosts a user interface with prominent marketplace and ecommerce features. Users can choose from a variety of items from home décor to tech accessories – and Hungerstation makes money on all of these ecommerce orders.

  1. Hungerstation Plus

Hungerstation has introduced three different premium plans for users that start from 1SR and goes up to 108 SR, where users can get free deliveries and thousands worth of vouchers, exclusive offers and promotions.

Hungerstation Ratings

Hungerstation has secured an average of 4.4 rating on Google Play and App Store.

7.      Eateasy

EatEasy is UAE’s food delivery app popular for its user experience on the iOS device, with Noon-like features where users can filter eateries using location and cuisine. In addition, EatEasy also has grocery delivery options. The app currently has more than 25,000 restaurants registered for food and ecommerce business.

The app hosts typical online ordering and on-demand delivery features like real-time order tracking, online payment methods, takeaway bookings, and additional user experience features like push notifications, and guest user signup and signin.

An attractive feature of EatEasy app is its cashback system for regular users – more orders users make and more cashback they receive, which works like credit and can be used for next orders.

How does EatEasy make money?

EatEasy is still growing as a food ordering platform in UAE, and that’s why, it currently has only restaurant commissions and grocery delivery fees as major earning streams. The app has recently introduced sponsored content, and soon plans to show featured grocery and restaurant listings.

EatEasy Ratings

EatEasy has established, and managed to maintain a whopping 4.5 stars rating on App Store from iPhone users; however, the ratings on Google Play are dramatically low – 2.7 stars, which clearly indicates that the food delivery app has a long list of UX issues that can be improved for Android users. With more than 50 thousand downloads on Google Play, the app shows potential, if taps the user experience part smartly.

8.      Talabna

Like EatEasy, Talabna is also a new UAE food delivery app with only 20,000 monthly active users. The app shares food delivery and grocery features, provides live order tracking from checkout to delivery, and sends discount codes in form of flash deals for active users.

How does Talabna make money?

Talabna is yet to strategize its monetization framework as a an app and you can also make a web app of it by one of the top web development companies, our product development strategists, the app is yet to go profitable. To attract more restaurants and users, Talabna charges a minimal service and platform fee to make money.

Talabna Ratings

Talabna currently has an average rating of 3 stars on Google Play and App Store. A quick scan of their reviews tells that Talabna should improve their user experience and customer service


The Revenue Potential of Food Delivery Apps

Food delivery is one of the hottest app development niches in the UAE region – that’s because of three reasons:

  • High acceptance rate of users from diverse and professional lifestyles
  • Profitable, hybrid monetization model of the cloud kitchen concept
  • Wide reach and high volumetric sales benefiting the restaurants

To solidify the argument in favour of food delivery apps, here are top three figures from Statista that must interest you:

  • In 2023, the penetration rate of the food delivery market in UAE is approximately 47%.
  • This penetration rate is estimated to grow by approximately 7% between 2024 and 2028.
  • The market will reach $67 million USD by the end of 2024, and will grow up to $88 million USD by 2029.
  • There will be 4.2 million users of food delivery apps by 2029.

Building onto the market size, growing popularity of cloud kitchens, economic viability of the concept and expansion investment plans in the niche, this is the ideal time to be an entrant.

But as a founder, you’ll need thorough market research, a strong technology stack, B2B affiliations and a solid app development partner by your side – and that’s exactly where CMOLDS comes in. We are a reputable mobile app development company in Dubai with 10 years of experience in the UAE culture – and understand the market pulse. While we do house the best software engineers and mobile app developers, the leadership team here comprises product development strategists who want to revolutionize the business ecosystem of the region with technology.

Review our case studies here:

If you too have a brilliant idea for a food delivery app, a brave entrepreneur spirit and are looking for right execution, book a call and we’ll take it from there!


About Saba Sohail

Saba Sohail is a content marketer with strong interests in mobile app development, tech-led business growth, AI-based business process automation and business-side technologies.

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