It has been a year since I wrote about Qaym, the user-generated restaurant reviews website founded by my friend Jihad al-Ammar. I was invited to a press conference last night where Qaym announced launching a new design and new interesting features.
Jihad said the website has enjoyed a steady growth over the past year and attracted an active community around it. He then introduced the new design which included a new logo and color theme. No major changes on the interface, but the little tweaks here and there should improve the usability and make it easier for users to find their way around the site.
The most important new feature for me is the addition of Google maps to the restaurant pages. Jihad says that it took them a long time and much effort to make it happen, but they are pleased with the how they finally implemented this. Since they only rolled out this feature yesterday not all restaurant pages have them yet, but you can check out this one to see how it is working.
Jihad announced during the press conference that Qaym is expanding by adding two new developers to the team: Mashhour al-Debayyan and Omar al-Amoudi, and that they plan to expand Qaym to include reviews for other services and products. A mobile version (and maybe an iPhone app) of the website is scheduled for later this year, he added.
I have to say that I’m not just impressed by how far Qaym has evolved, but I’m also extremely proud of Jihad and rest of the Saudi team behind the website. Their hard work and commitment to provide a great service coupled with high quality is to be admired and respected. It is a real shame that they don’t get the recognition they deserve, but I hope that this will change soon.