DUBAI // Years ago, the boum - an Emirati dhow - was sometimes the only way for news to travel.
But the word may be about to take on a whole new meaning.
Two young Emirati women have used the name for a mobile phone application they have developed that they say will help people uncover the country's hidden gems.
"It is like an Emirati social GPS," said Meera Alsiri, 20, a student at Zayed University in Dubai. "It is a tool which reveals the hidden gems in the UAE, or hidden hubs most people would not know of. People here rely on word of mouth, and this is based on social media, content is put in by users."
Fatima al Ghaith, also 20, explained the simplicity of the application. "You download the application, and then go on location, upload a picture, and write what you want," she said.
"Or you could go to 'locations near me' or look through 'most visited places'."
She added simplicity was the most important facet of the application.
Miss Alsiri said many Emirati girls wanted an application that could help combine photography with entertainment.
"There was a joke broadcast [on BlackBerry Messenger] before about the Emirati girl," she said. "Step one, order food, step two, take a picture, step three, put the picture on BB's display picture, and step four, reply to comments from friends as drink melts and leave the food."
This, she said, gave her faith that her application would be a success. "Instead of people here uploading these pictures on their BBs, we thought why not let them post it on an app," she said.
"UAE girls mainly look for an app to pass time and share views. We are starting to get women's rights here and women are starting to speak up."
To avoid the app being used for inappropriate content, the women will check all photos uploaded before they are approved. No faces will be allowed in pictures.
They hope to build a large database of different places and things to do within a year or so.
"We think this would be a good app for tourists," Miss Alsiri said. "A lot of people I met say to me, we want to know where is the old souq. People want to see what is beyond Dubai Mall and Mall of the Emirates.
"What my grandma does is give henna to tourists if they come to our house, to experience the culture hands on. With this app tourists will experience the culture without needing to go to someone's mum."
The application, which will be available in English and Arabic, will be available on BlackBerry, iPhone, and Android mobiles free of charge by the end of August.
Its content is available on a website, www.boum.ae. All images and information uploaded on to the phone applications will also be available online.
So far 25 members of their families have contributed images. "We sent a broadcast if anyone wanted to become a founding member of the site to send high resolution pictures," Miss al Ghaith said.
"They would have the first priority in downloading the application once it's out."
And they hope Boum will be enough of a hit to spin into a career for them both. "After we graduate, this is going to be very time consuming," said Miss Alsiri.
"Everything is mobile now, people don't leave their house without it. We want to continue making apps."