Qaym Redesigns

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.

Qaym logo

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.

7 thoughts on “Qaym Redesigns

  1. The site still needs testing. I clicked on the link you include in your post and I get a javascript error (it is in the google maps code). I don’t read Arabic but I do web development for a living.

  2. Personally, I’ve never heard of Qaym before reading your post. When looking for reviews on restaurants, I simply go to Jeddah Food (since I live in Jeddah). But I guess what’s unique about Qaym is that it offers reviews of restaurants both inside and outside Saudi Arabia.

    Best of luck to Jihad and his team.

  3. Yeah man, it’s really tough getting coverage around here. There isn’t a support system in place to help an emerging technology.

    Jerry: Yeah, we’re still ironing out bugs on different browsers and operating systems. You shouldn’t have this particular problem any more though.

    Thanks Ahmad, I really appreciate your support.

  4. for a long time i have wanted to do something similar at home.. my parents used to own a very sizable food factory – restaurants and a catering company and i feel qualified.. the one thing that stops me is that i dont want to offend anyone..


    im weak hehe

  5. Hello Jihad,

    I looked at the site today and it is working. I hope I didn’t sound too critical. Javascript can be funky with all the different browsers out there and I am hardly an expert. I often see small javascript errors in my own stuff, but if they don’t crash the page, I will ignore it.

  6. I did visit the website and sound promising. I remember back when I was A student in KFUPM (King Fahd University), I had a vision of such a website and discussed it with several people but I found it really hard to gather info from the public especially business owner in that time where internet was still a new thing to get around and mostly the elite know how to use it properly no only for chat. I doped the idea for later and I’m glad to see some one had some similar vision.

    In regard with the idea about the restaurant review and collection of data i invite you to at least visit one of the most successful website about a similar yet more mature and organized one called In GrubHub not only you can find a nearby restaurant and review them, but it goes further by providing a scan of their menu (with a dynamic one) along with the ability to order online from the restaurant. Personally, I’m one of many thousands that uses this website around the city (currently live in Chicago area) and it uses a very flexible model for generating income by asking the restaurant to pay them back (few bucks) if they like the customer and no surprise that many did. It started off as small project to gather restaurant info around universities campuses here in Chicago and expanded to other major cities.

    I guess that Qayem could use helps from major review website like Yelp and other which has some good idea and how to organize it. Further they can contact some business owners to help the website by advertising it in their locations and encouraging people to review the restaurant in their own way (non invasive of course)

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