1 Jul 2024

Forging an App Like Haraj: Insights into Mobile App Development in Saudi Arabia and Beyond


Nida Akbar

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mobile app development in Saudi Arabia

The advancement of technology in the modern age means that business is done electronically through different online platforms. One great example is Haraj, the most famous store for online business based in Saudi Arabia. This blog post involves the Haraj app and mobile app development in Dubai and the UAE, and some of the characteristics of building an e-commerce application. Furthermore, it will formulate the cost issues and temporal developments of this highly volatile industry.

Thus, it is useful to examine the specifics of the processes occurring in the framework of the Haraj app and understand what role it plays in the context of general mobile app development, with special reference to the highly developed markets of Saudi Arabia and the UAE. Hence, it is not just about presenting new opportunities and the innovation that goes into the development of an effective e-commerce strategy; it also elaborates on the ways that actually adapt to the markets of different regions and new technologies. While exploring the further intricacies of a mobile app development company in UAE in these regions, it is necessary to look at the contribution of the leading development companies, how the process looks step-by-step in creating an app like Haraj, and of course, the costs that may appear at this stage. 

Moreover, we will introduce a promising business idea in the UAE: creating an application for a select segment of the population, such as expats, by using Singapore as a base due to the diverse population and advanced technological development. With the aid of this research, the reader will be in a position to understand the strategies to adopt in order to succeed in the development of online marketplaces with the help of online marketplace entrepreneurs and developers.

Online Marketplace

Understanding Haraj: Analysing the Saudi e-commerce market

Haraj is a typical representative of Saudi Arabs online marketplaces that has received great results within a relatively short time. Haraj was established in 2007, and it has become among the most successful classified websites for the purchasing and selling of all types of products, which include automobiles, real estate, electronics, furniture, etc. The easy-to-navigate nature of the app and the fact that it provides various types of human needs and desires make it a one-stop app for millions.

Key features of Haraj

  • User-Friendly Interface: One of the aspects refers to the knowledge of users and is based on the idiographic approach, which implies an individual approach to each user, making the design more intuitive for different users.
  • Wide Range of Categories: There are a large number of stores in many different areas that are disclosed to the public.
  • Robust Search Functionality: Optional compared terms such as to ensure app users can refine a search to specific items.
  • Seller Verification: Promotes credibility and secures experience in the process of acquiring goods and services.
  • Integrated Chat: Enables users to make connections that involve the purchase and sale of opinions, advice, and information.

Also Read : 8 Effective Methods and Resources for E-commerce Marketing Automation

Mobile App Development in Saudi Arabia

Mobile App Development for Saudi Arabia

The advancement of the mobile app development company in Saudi Arabia has been highly evident since the implementation of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030, which seeks to decrease the country’s dependence on oil and expand oil-related industries. The Kingdom is a market with a focus on digital transformation, or what would be a suitable environment for mobile app developers.

Saudi Arabia is home to some of the leading mobile app development companies

  • Hyperlink InfoSystem: Popular for providing quality mobile handy apps. Labiba works mainly in the areas of artificial intelligence as well as the use of chatbots. DigiTrends operates mainly in the healthcare services and digital commerce application sectors.

Also Read : Transforming Healthcare in the Skies With Air Ambulance in Dubai

E-commerce App Development: Developing an App as Haraj

It will pay to note that creating an e-commerce app similar to Haraj is a systemic process that has important stages. Here’s a detailed breakdown:

Market research and planning

  • Understanding the Target Audience: Identifying the gender, age, life stage, annual household income, occupation, and education level of the users and understanding their preferences over a product.
  • Competitive Analysis: The first is diagnosing the strengths and weaknesses of existing business intelligence apps.
  • Feature List: Forming a basic, essential, and additional/recommended plan by considering customers’ requirements.

Design and prototyping

  • User Experience (UX) Design: Designing prototypes, model sketches, personas, and scenarios.
  • User Interface (UI) Design: Establishing an appropriate and ergonomic presentation of the website. 
  • Prototype Development: Rating the process of creating and testing the mockups of the interactive prototypes.


  • Frontend Development: Incorporating emerging technologies for an effectively optimised interface by employing technologies like React Native, Flutter, and so on.
  • Backend Development: It could be stated that it is crucial to create a solid backend by using Node. Including languages like Ajax, JavaScript, JSF, AngularJS, CS, Python, or Solar, Java-based systems such as JSF, ERL, Ruby on Rails, or Django.
  • Database Management: Evaluating environment-suitable and performance-scalable databases such as MySQL, MongoDB, and Firebase.

Testing and quality assurance

  • Functional Testing: Checks that all design features perform their intended functions.
  • Performance Testing: Evaluation of functional quality with emphasis on the app’s speed and other related responses.
  • Security Testing: Suspending accounts involved in hacking or leaking information.

Deployment and maintenance

  • App Store Submission: What if any best practices can be determined from adhering to Google Play and the Apple App Store?
  • Ongoing Maintenance: Maintenance updates that help in upgrading the application and fixing bugs that hinder the operation of the cell phone.
  • Online Marketplaces: This being the case, the future of commerce can be said to be as bright as the future of the council.

The trend most prominently observed is the emergence of online portals such as Haraj, which are now a global phenomenon due to the sheer ease they bring to the otherwise microscopic process of buying and selling. These create market intermediation options that enable the matching of buyers and sellers in a vibrant digital environment.

Also Read : What’s the cost to develop an app Like Emirates Auction?

E-commerce App Like Haraj

Benefits of Online Marketplaces

  • Wide Reach: Connectivity to customers within a worldwide sphere that is unrestricted by geographical factors.
  • Cost Efficiency: Lower overhead expenses than fixed-structure physical shops, which most of the time emerged.
  • Data Insights: Precious tools to measure consumer activity that aid in assumptions about consumer actions and preferences.
  • The New Haraj Market: Innovation was on the rise as various changes were seen taking place in Section 2 regarding the evolution and expansion of this concept.

New Haraj market places have emerged to compete with Haraj, especially as it seeks to expand its market share in a bid to capture other sections of the market or provide additional services. The latest version of the new Haraj Market Riyadh reflects this concept well, as it uses such features as artificial intelligence and blockchain to optimise customers’ experiences and enhance the safety of transactions.

haraj app

Mobile App Development in the UAE

Since it is increasingly becoming innovation- and technology-centred, especially in Dubai and other cities in the UAE, mobile app development thrives in the region. This place is strategically located as its business environment is good and the physical and social infrastructures are well developed to accommodate global developers.

Also Read : What is the cost to build a mobile app in the UAE?

Top Android and iOS application developers in the UAE

  • DeviceBee: They are recognized for implementing unique mobile app solutions.
  • Fluper’s main business is focused on developing apps with high performance.
  • Xicom Technologies provides a broad spectrum of mobile application development and web application development solutions.

Top Mobile App Development Companies in Saudi Arabia

Challenges and Competitive Analysis for Developing an App in Saudi Arabia and Dubai

The cost to develop an app in Dubai, however, differs from one company to the next, depending on the level of complexity that may arise from such factors as the features that are needed for the app and the geographical location of the developers who are to be hired for the job.

Also Read : Almatar App Ranked 3rd in Most Downloaded Travel Apps in Saudi Arabia

Cost to Develop an App Like Haraj

On-Demand App Development: 

It has also tried to meet modern consumer needs with its products instead of giving customers what they want to avoid upsetting existing suppliers.

There is a growing popularity of an on-demand app development company to meet several needs, which include food delivery, transport, and cleaning services, among others, within reach of a human finger. These applications are fitting for the current generation, where people are willing to pay for the opportunity to avoid queues, crowds, and hustle.

Here are the features of on-demand apps, considering both app-based and platform-based business models

  • User Registration and Profiles: Ease and flexibility in registration and pin-point customization.
  • Service Listings: Lists of provided and desired services that are extensive.
  • Real-Time Tracking: GPS-enabled track to track for service delivery.
  • Payment Integration: Easy and numerous payment methods in the case of short sales of goods.
  • Ratings and Reviews: Ways that users or consumers use to provide feedback on the necessary information for maintaining quality.
  • Regional Focus: Shopping festivals like Haraj are most common in Riyadh and Jeddah.

Also Read : The Emergence of Women Health Tracking Mobile App : Transforming Female Wellness

Haraj Riyadh

When it comes to the markets, Riyadh has a large share within the overall markets of Haraj since it holds the capital status of the kingdom. The city is home to a large and growing populace with vast consumption needs on the back of rapid urbanization, thus the need for working online marketplaces.

Haraj Jeddah

Haraj Jeddah, an important city on the Red Sea coastline with tremendous commercial importance, is also among the markets. These aspects make users embrace online platforms such as Haraj, given the bustle that the city presents, to cater for the diverse cultures of the people.

In this article on mobile application development trends in Dubai, there is a dominant trend in video streaming platforms.

Barriers and opportunities Presently, Dubai is at the vanguard of implementing advanced technologies in mobile application development. Key trends include:

Also Read : What is the Cost of Building a Messenger App Like Botim Unveil!

Artificial intelligence, or machine learning

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning are being incorporated into apps to make user interactions more unique and future trends likely.

augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR)

The real estate, retail, and entertainment industries are the main beneficiaries of Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality since clients get the feeling of the real experience.

Blockchain Technology

It has been noted that blockchain is providing a greater degree of security and a high level of transparency in various financial and e-commerce-related applications.

The expense of creating an app similar to Haraj is as follows:

Building an app like Haraj requires a huge amount of time and, most importantly, cash. The general cost of developing an app might also differ depending on the following aspects: The application’s functionality, the functions that a user wants in the application, the geographical location of the developers, and the development methodology. Here, I will dissect the cost aspects and give a general notion of what it takes to develop an application like Haraj.

Some of the factors that played major roles in determining the cost include

  • App Complexity and Features
  • Platform Duality (Choosing iOS Only, Android Only, or Both)
  • Design and User Interface
  • Web backend development and database maintenance
  • Third-Party Integrations
  • Testing and quality assurance
  • Post-Launch Support and Maintenance

Functions and Rates of the Development Team Location

1. App Complexity and Features

The size and scope of your app determine your overall development costs and, in particular, the fact that your app is complex.

  • User Registration and Authentication: Safe enrollment and authentication features and the integration with social-networking websites.
  • Product Listings: Ability to allow users to create and edit resources and features like images, descriptions, prices, etc.
  • Search and Filtering: Category selection, price range, location, and other suitable criteria, including user recommendations and top sellers.
  • In-App Messaging: Instant messaging option for contracts between buyers and sellers.
  • Notifications: Notifications on new messages, message updates, or message promotion.
  • Payment Integration: Integrated payment systems that help with the purchase of items within the app.
  • User Reviews and Ratings: Enable the product and the sellers to be reviewed by the users of the site.
  • Admin Panel: Administers an extensive control panel to help manage users and their listings as well as completed transactions.

The more complex and feature-rich the app, the higher the cost.

2. Platform Choice

The choice between developing an app for iOS, Android, or both can also influence the cost of developing an app in Saudi Arabia. Combining the development of the two (cross-platform) can be more inexpensive to implement than having two natively developed applications.

3. Design and User Interface

Since the success of the website relies heavily on its ability to attract users, the design needs to be simple and beautiful-looking. The design phase includes:

  • Wireframing: Creating the whole framework of what the app will look like in the initial stages.
  • UI/UX Design: The layout of its GUI: making it as pleasing to the eye as possible while still being intuitive.
  • Prototyping: Prototyping for the purpose of arriving at a design that end-users can access through active engagement.

The cost of the design offered may vary depending on the following factors: the amount of customization and the scaling factor level.

4. Backend implementation and databases

The backend means everything, as it serves as the core of your app and deals with user logins, registrations, and others. This includes:

  • Server Setup: Designing web servers that are able to cater to user requests and data.
  • Database Management: Using AWS S3 or similar technologies, setting up quickly scalable databases such as MySQL, MongoDB, Firebase, etc.
  • API Development: Incorporating APIs that would facilitate the interaction between the front-end and back-end.

5. Third-Party Integrations

Third-party services such as payment gateways, social media login, and analytics integration are good to have, but they charge for their services, adding cost to the overall project.

6. Testing and Quality Assurance

A great deal of stress can only be imposed to smooth the app on all the available devices and on other operational platforms. This includes:

  • Functional testing: Testing whether all the features provided by the program are operating properly.
  • Performance Testing: Holding the belief that the app should work efficiently through different circumstances.
  • Security Testing: Ensuring user data safety and non-compromise breaches.

7. Post-Launch Support and Maintenance

Updates to these apps are often released to fix bugs, add new features, or ensure compatibility with the new versions of operating systems. This often entails the creation of a support group that is particular to that division.

Also Read : Developing Your Own Self-Check-In Hotel Booking App: A Comprehensive Guide

Online Marketplace new haraj market

Techugo: Transforming Mobile Application Development Across the Globe

Techugo is one of the world’s premier mobile app developers, with a strong portfolio of modern and qualitative applications. Thus, Techugo is dedicated to providing the best-quality digital services that utilise the latest technologies while also focusing on the preferences of the target audience. With operations across the globe, they cover many sectors like retail, healthcare, finance, entertainment, and more; this makes sure that each application is well designed to fit the goals of a business and the expectations of the users. With a talented pool of developers, designers, and strategists, Techugo possesses the capability to build not only technically sound but also aesthetically pleasing and user-friendly applications. They work hard on market research, crew development, and extensive testing so that their product will work flawlessly and their users will be happy. Thus, Techugo stays ahead of the curve and consistently implements new and exciting trends within the sphere of mobile app development, optimising the opportunities for business development for companies from all over the world.

On-Demand App Development


Creating an app like Haraj requires analysis of the market, design, programming, testing, and subsequent financial investments aimed at the application’s maintenance and improvement. Currently, Saudi Arabia and the UAE are promising markets to create and develop mobile applications, as there are no significant obstacles to that. Here, e-commerce app development companies and marketplace businesses combined with on-demand apps will stay high on the list of drivers for delivering the next cycle of growth.

With the increasing demand for new marketplace models, be it a straightforward storefront or a practically fully-fledged application, understanding the peculiarities of mobile application development and focusing on current trends becomes essential. This means that if you plan and implement your strategy well, your app might be the next big hit in the world of online store franchising.

Get in touch with our expert team members at Techugo to elevate your business to new heights.

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