Behind the scenes of the Dubai Airports Project
Launched! After an intense design & development process, our beautiful app finally meets the world. We’re very proud. Working with such a huge, foreign client has been a phenomenal experience for M2mobi. It brought a lot of new perspectives to our company. We’d love to give you a behind-the-scenes look of the Dubai Airports project in our latest blog post.
Dubai is known as an Emirate that is putting a lot of effort in development. From the beginning of the 20th century, the oil source revenues were used for expansion of the city. One skyscraper after the other arose, and the sky was the limit.
In 2009 Dubai was, just like the EU, hit by the crisis and the flow of money for investment was put on hold. However, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum decided in 2013, to re-open the money supply. This is also the case for investment in airport projects.
In the next few years, the current DXB airport is supposed to grow from 66 million to 100 million visitors per year. The smaller airport DWC (also known as Al Maktoum International) should even be the number one hub of the world by 2027, and the ambition is to process about 200 million passengers. For this an investment of $32 billion will be made.
In addition to the growth in size, Dubai wants to invest heavily in technology that enhances the traveling comfort of the two airports. With that approach M2Mobi was asked early 2013 to build an App that informs the passengers about their flight and the facilities at the airport.
In the first phase of the project, we soon noticed that there was more to it than we could have predicted. On the one hand, because the demand from Dubai was expanding and on the other hand because we were dependent on third party suppliers. We had to deal with an agency for the design, the interactive 3D map and we had to work with a company that linked the API interface with the webCMS.
In addition, we chose to use Apple's Core Data technology for data storage and management, a technique that was new to us. On previous projects, we used FMDB for this, so it took some extra time to understand this different approach.
After the initial phase, we therefore decided together with Dubai to widen the scope of the project. Due to the amount of additional services and possibilities that had to be in the app, the decision was made to extend the scope from 8 to 12 Sprints.
Despite the big distance to Dubai, we had a lot of facetime with the client. We went towards Dubai three times over the past few months to be able to speak directly to each other. We had our sprint demo and planning meetings using a video call (Google Hangouts). But nothing beats a face to face meeting and that's why we went there every 2-3 sprints (but not with the whole team). This has ensured that the communication with Dubai has been very positive. The responses to our demos were always good and our peers at Dubai Airports have repeatedly declared that they have a lot of confidence in our judgment.
Launched by the Sheikh
After a journey of about nine months, the Dubai Airports
app finally saw the light. Dubai wanted a soft launch first so we had time to solve teething problems (which luckily weren't there). The big launch campaign was scheduled on October 12th. The occasion was the arrival of Sheikh Mohammed to Gitex, a large technology conference in Dubai. During this event, Dubai airports had the opportunity to personally show the app to the Sheikh.
At the office we have already celebrated the birth of the app with a glass of Champagne and a dinner at the Amsterdam Beer Factory. Happy that the app is finally live, and we can proudly show it to the world.
Between going live and the launch campaign, we have not been idle. We had a short time to tighten some things, because right after that we already started with a new sprint.
The purpose? A so-called "flight tracker". This functionality shows you where your flight will be after it has taken off in real time. So we worked hard last week to get the so-called flight tracker implemented. Not an easy task, but it is ready!
Read our press release
Read Dubai Airports press release
Download the iOS App
Download the Android App