UAE Web Resident Omair Aasim, Creator of SearchingDubai.com
Posted by advaitin on January 4, 2006
1) Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your educational background?
Well I was born in Dubai and stayed most of my life there. I did my
schooling in Indian High School. Then I got enrolled at Sharjah College
to do my Computer Science Degree. After completing two years there, I
transferred to US where I completed my Bachelors and Masters in computer
2) What inspired you to build SearchingDubai.com?
Although I’m a Indian citizen, I always considered Dubai to be my home
city. I think Dubai is one of the best cities in the world. It has given
so much to me in my life that I wanted to give something back to it. So
I designed this search engine so that people from all around the world
can find out and learn about this great city. And this site also
provides useful information for people residing in UAE. Its my way of
contributing back to the city where I grew.
3) What technology did you use to build it? Were you the only one in
this project or you had a team working ?
The entire site has been designed using the latest Java technology. I
worked with my friend Asim Iqbal to build this search engine. He has
been a great help and guidance to me in designing this project.
4) Can you explain the main features and functions of SearchingDubai.com
and how users can utillise the site effectively?
Well there are a lot of functionality in this website:
a) Dubai Search: Unlike Google, the Dubai search engine is built only
for the local community. It only searches for information on websites
that are related to Dubai or UAE. It’s an ongoing process. Everyday more
and more websites are added
to the engine.
b) People Search: You can search for people residing in UAE by their
name, or telephone number or po box or city.
c) Company Search:You can search for companies in UAE by their name, or
telephone number or po box or city or even browse them by categories.
d) City Guide: It basically allows you to look for anything in the city.
For instance, you can search for vegetarian restaurants or mexican
restaurants in Dubai or schools in Abu Dhabi or rent-a-cars in Sharjah.
You can browse the shopping malls, look for hotels, airlines, hospitals etc.
e) TV Guide shows you the current tv programs for various channels in Dubai.
f) Tourist Attractions: This is a new section that has just started
which basically shows all the main tourist attractions in Dubai.
5) How has the response to the site been so far?
Its been about a month or so since this website was officially launched.
And so far the response has been really GREAT. I did’nt expect this much
traffic in the first month.
6) What are your future plans for the website?
I would like to expand this website by adding more features like forums,
online dating community etc.
7) How do you get ideas for your projects? How do you apply creative
thinking and creativity in your field and life?
Well, that’s a difficult question to answer. Its always difficult to
come up with a new idea. I always try to do things that havent been done
before. Like 4 years back, I wrote a speech recognition software that
would translate your voice into words but that summer microsoft launched
the same feature in their office products. So much for that. But my
point is – no task is impossible to accomplish. If you have the
determination and will to do it, you can do it. Once you have an idea,
you can always figure out a way to do it.
8) What are your other interests and hobbies?
I have a passion for the game of Chess. I play it whenever I find time.
I also love to watch sports and hang out with friends.
9) What are your favourite books, music, movies, celebrities and
Favourite Book : Not much of a reader but I like John Grisham’s novels.
Favourite Music : Pop, Hiphop and R&B
Movies : “Pirates of the Silicon Valley”…hehehee – a must watch movie
for computer geeks
Celebrities: Aishwarya, Preity Zinta, Al Pacino, Robert De Niro
Inspiring Personalities : One and only Bill Gates – He’s a living legend
10) What is your motto or philosophy of life that you would like to
share with our readers?
My favourite quote by which i live my life:
“Some men see things as they are and say WHY?” “I dream things that
never were and say WHY NOT?”
– Email interview conducted when SearchingDubai.com was launched.