'It was my first food delivery app’: UAE residents react as Zomato discontinues some services

Customers ordering food on the app will now be redirected to the Talabat app, the service announced on Monday



File photo
File photo
by

SM Ayaz Zakir

Published: Tue 15 Nov 2022, 7:31 PM

Last updated: Tue 15 Nov 2022, 8:45 PM

Residents across the country were left saddened on Monday as Zomato announced the discontinuation of its food ordering feature in the UAE from November 24. Some residents said they had been ordering through the app for a long time, as it was the first food delivery app they had ever used in the country.

Ahmed Akram, a marketing executive for an agency in Dubai, was disheartened upon learning his favourite food delivery app closing down. “Zomato was the first food delivery app I used, and it was in 2015 when I landed in the UAE for a job,” said Akram.

The Indian expat would order deliveries back home quite often due to his tight schedule. “When food deliveries started in Bangalore, [they were] a hit among the people there, and due to time constraints, I couldn’t cook at home. It was a similar situation for me when I came to Dubai,” Ahmed recalled, adding that the last time he ordered on Zomato was during the Covid-19 pandemic before his family arrived in Dubai.

Customers ordering food on the Zomato app will now be redirected to the Talabat app. Zomato sold its UAE business to Talabat in 2019 for $172 million – its food delivery services were being operated by Talabat.

Syed Umair, currently living in Deira, was among several residents who ordered food through Zomato. “I started using Zomato in 2017 due to the discounts offered by the app for regular users,” said Umair.

Umair also mentioned that the company had even promoted food delivery by providing discounts through Zomato Gold. “I had saved a lot of money by subscribing to Zomato Gold. Earlier, this subscription was for dine-in [restaurants], but I had also received it for deliveries a couple of times, [for] which I got a discount of nearly 50 per cent,” added Umair.

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However, the company will continue to build on its restaurant discovery and dining-out business. It will also be redefining customers’ experiences in dining out through the launch of new features known as ‘Vibe Check’ and ‘Zomato Pay.’

Vibe Check, which is now live in the UAE, makes it easier for partner restaurants to promote themselves. Eateries can post short videos – similar to Instagram Stories – on the app to showcase their locations and specialities. Zomato Pay, meanwhile, helps users make payments and avail of discounts and other offers.


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