Last week I came across a new startup from Dubai, called VoilaDubai, it was a neat looking website and had some interesting content but you could tell that it was either recently launched or not well managed. So I decided to get in touch with them to see what was going on and it turns out that the site had just recently launched, and I’d say that the website is managed pretty well just from the level of responsiveness I got from Farah Dehmouni the managing partner at VoilaDubai.ae.
So I sent Farah some questions about her venture with VoilaDubai and she was kind enough to give us her feedback below:
Q1) What is VoilaDubai?
VoilaDubai is a community-powered reviews and recommendations website – a discovery & sharing engine!
We hope that Voila Dubai can be a small piece of the puzzle that will help reduce some of the friction involved in how people online find the businesses and services they’re looking for and help those businesses engage with the community.
Q2) How does it work?
Businesses create their business page to make it easy for people to find them online and members of the Voila community write reviews and make recommendations to their friends.
Q3) When did VoilaDubai launch?
The site wen live on 18th March 2011
Q4) Why was VoilaDubai launched?
Simply put, because people told us they needed it. Like everyone else we’ve had friends who when new to Dubai struggled with getting to grips with simple things like where their local post office is, which is the right supermarket for their dietary requirements, where the best bakery to get freshly baked scones, etc.. Likewise for the long-time residents of Dubai looking for new places or businesses.Not one person has the answer to these questions but we figured that by tapping into the community and make it easy for people to share, their knowledge would, in it’s own small way, make Dubai a better place.
Q1) Did VoilaDubai have any investors? If yes can you let us know who they were?
We are affiliated with WNDRMedia, a web and mobile app firm, which is backed by a group of angel investors. Dynamic team 🙂
Q2) Can you let us know the number of registered users on VoilaDubai or the monthly unique visitors?
After less than 90 days, we have almost 300 members in our community (information anyone can see on the site) and are on track to exceed 10,000 uniques a month.
Q3) How do the special offers on VoilaDubai work?
Once a business has joined the community by claiming their listing, they are able to manage special offers through their profile.
Q4) The classifieds section is still empty? Is that a work in progress or is it something that you will work on promoting in the future?
It is indeed a work in progress.
Q5) How does VoilaDubai plan on monetizing the site, from ads and newsletters? Or is there another strategy in the works?
As we’ve said all along Voila is a community oriented initiative and at this point of time, there are no plans to monetize the site.
Q1) VoilaDubai is only focused in Dubai, do you have other sites for other cities? Or do you plan to expand to other cities in the near future?
Only time will tell. Dubai was the logical market to launch in and we are using it as a testing ground for whatever we do in the future.
Q2) Yadig.com has been live for sometime now how do you plan on dealing with the competition in the Future? Do you believe there is space for the 2 of you?
People gravitate towards sites and online services that they find most relevant to them. As the online community in the UAE continues to grow we anticipate that there’ll be more and more of these types of sites each focused on various groups of people with differing interests. We don’t see any reason why there should not be space for all of these different sites.