UBER resolves dispute with Abu Dhabi: Back in service today
In a statement, Uber announced today the re-launch of its services in the UAE capital, in collaboration with the Department of Transport in Abu Dhabi – represented by the Integrated Transport Centre (ITC) – to offer convenient and reliable transportation solutions across the Emirate with a push of a button.
The announcement followed the signing of an agreement between Uber and ITC at the Department of Transport headquarters in Abu Dhabi.
Additionally, with Uber’s re-launch in Abu Dhabi, Emiratis will be able to drive on the Uber app using their private vehicles on a full-time or part-time basis.
Mohammed Darwish Al Qamzi, General Manager of ITC, said:
“With Uber, we are delighted to be able to provide reliable and convenient transportation solutions to residents and visitors in Abu Dhabi. All private/public vehicles and driver partners are supervised under ITC’s regulations and meet the required standards and licensing requirements,” added Al Qamzi.
Al Qamzi also highlighted ITC’s efforts towards encouraging Emiratization by providing flexible economic opportunities to Emiratis who want to drive on the Uber app on a full-time or part-time basis using their own private vehicles.
Anthony Khoury, Regional Manager, Uber Middle East, said: “Abu Dhabi is a significant market for Uber and we’re delighted to serve as catalysts for economic growth, and for Emiratis to be able to drive on the Uber app using their private vehicles. With the re-launch of our services in the Emirate and the launch of Uber Eats there earlier this year, we can cater to local demand and remain committed to our goal of providing efficient and innovative solution to the communities we operate in,” added Khoury.
The Cab fare issue
While Uber will be making a return to the emirate with 50 to 100 cars as of 12.30pm on Monday, November 19, after a two-year absence, both the company and its local competitor, Careem, have announced a new fleet driven by Emiratis that will cost the same as standard taxis, according to the UAE daily The National.
“Private taxis currently have to set their fees significantly higher than standard city taxis to prevent them from undercutting the government-run service. The same rules will continue to apply to taxis with non-Emirati drivers, but the new service will offer an extra option to residents,” said The National.
In a move hailed as “a first for the UAE”, the new service is expected to be available to the public from early next year.
According to the daily, the taxis will be priced at exactly the same level as standard taxis, with a minimum charge of AED12 ($3.27) and the same cost per kilometer.
Both Uber and Careem suspended operations in 2016 after the authorities launched a crackdown on the companies, amid concerns over their pricing structure. Uber has been operating in the Emirates since 2013.
Careem Emiratization program
In collaboration with TransAD, Careem said in a statement it has introduced a new programme to provide flexible and safe income earning opportunities to Emiratis and sons and daughters of Emirati women living in Abu Dhabi.
UAE Nationals and sons and daughters of Emirati women can now opt to register on the Careem platform and drive private vehicles as part of a new initiative to open up jobs to the local workforce. The service will be priced in line with taxis in the Capital and customers will be able to book rides originating in anywhere in Abu Dhabi.
Careem has begun an outreach programme targeting UAE nationals and sons and daughters of Emirati women to promote the new initiative and to invite eligible Emirati Captains to register on their portal – drive.careem.com. Training sessions will be conducted in Abu Dhabi to upskill Captains on how to use Careem technology; best driving practices; vehicle and road safety and customer service. Careem offers all Captains additional benefits including support for applying for vehicle, health insurance, personal finance training and discounts on fuel and groceries