User Generated Locations Directory Places.ae Launches a BlackBerry Version

6 Jul, 2008

Places.ae LogoPlaces.ae BlackBerry version allows users to find locations near them by using GPS, making the process of finding locations of restaurants, hotels, shops and so on, more easy and more convenient when on the go.

This move puts places.ae in the LBS (Location Based Services) market, but currently Places.au services are only available in Dubai while more Emirates to be add soon.

Places.ae is a useful, convenient and simple service; it started as a web locations directory for places, submitted by the users, and then expanded into other communications channels such as IM, mobile, and twitter.

Places.ae web interface is very easy to use and straight forward; just type the place (ex. pizza) and where it is near by, while you are typing these entries the web site suggests related words, just like Yahoo search suggestions.

Then Places.ae yields to you the search results where you can click in one of them, once in the place page for example: Oregano, it shows the location on Google map, phone number, descriptions, associated tags, and you can even rate this place and add comments. thus providing users with reviews of each place.


pizza nearby Jumeirah Beach Residence on Places.ae

The service does not stop short,  it also provides you with the option to add the place to your favorites so you can find it easily next time. And it lists you at the place page similar places, a way to help you discover more places.

Even though Places.ae is currently useful it can be even more useful if it add more features and services such as: The user can optionally add his default location -such as home and work) on his profile, thereby when searching; he does not have to type his location.  Just type find places near me, and places.ae will retrieve places near his location and how far they are from him. At the same time providing the user with directions to reach that place.

Another one would be adding location based social networking , or possible integration with location based photos and videos from flickr.com and YouTube.com for example when I am at starbucks @ Ibn Battuta Mall page, it would be useful to find photos and videos taken in that location.

I also suggested to Michael Hendrickx the founder of places.ae to add GEO-RSS to the site, allowing users to subscribe to a location’s feed and get that location places update. ( I recommended ArabCrunch sponsor Feedoor to manage the feeds.)

The BlackBerry version has my first suggested feature: it detects the user’s location via GPS to find places near him and it shows how far they are from him. ( my suggestion was for the web)


When the user click the place entry he will see a little static map of the place, And phone numbers are often detected, so it’s very easy to call that place, in case the user wants to.

Starbucks Dubai


To access this service you need BlackBerry with GPS device, a mobile data connection and Java script enabled browser.

The BlackBerry version is part of Places.ae ongoing mobile version development , which can also server Windows Mobile and iPhone clients. but for the latter two, places.ae is currently optimizing the interface.

since they have slightly better browsers (and UI) than a BlackBerry.

Before launching the BlackBerry Places.ae launched PAM (Places Answering Machine) to support other communication channels.

Pam is what links the places.ae search engine with other communication channels available on the Internet.

According to places.

Currently PAM supports Gtalk Windows Live Messenger and Twitter. SMS, E-mail and possibly Yahoo! Messenger will be added to PAM soon.

On the future places will launch API

so people can start their own “version” of places.ae”

According to Hendrickx.

Places is the work of Michael Hendrickx -from Belgium is IT security expert who currnelty lives in UAE-   and Spinbits . It was developed using the Rails framework.

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  1. Michael Hendrickx  |  July 6th, 2008 at 1:52 PM #

    Hi man,

    Thank you for the post. It seems that the image in the homepage didn’t load correctly (the “dubai” picture is set with Javascript), could you refresh that and see if it shows? It looks nicer that way 🙂

    Thank you again, keep up the amazing work.

    Michael Hendrickx

  2. admin  |  July 9th, 2008 at 8:55 AM #

    Thanks Michael for you comment, and sorry for being late it was kminda hectic for me.
    i checked the source and there is no java script ?
    but i found when u click on these images they do not show:
    The pizza near jumiarah list, and Starbucks in Dubai list and i fixed them, is that what u meant?

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