Dubai is supporting a regional rival to Uber

Dubai is to launch a company with Careem, the regional rival to Uber, to manage the ride-hailing system for all taxis operating in the Gulf’s commercial hub. The emirate’s transport authority said yesterday it would be the world’s first partnership between a government regulator and a private ride-hailing app. Dubai, like other regulatory authorities, has clashed with fast-growing ride-hailing companies challenging the dominance of traditional taxi services. Dubai-based Careem, valued at about $2 billion in its last fundraising round, said it would have a 49 per cent stake in the joint venture, which would manage e-hailing systems and online payments for almost 11,000 taxis. The service will launch in April 2019. Dubai taxis, which are owned by the government and business families in the emirate, will still collect passengers from the streets. Existing ride-hailing services for about 6,500 limousines in the emirate, which is dominated by Careem and Uber, would continue as normal… Careem, which was founded by former McKinsey consultants in 2012, won a tender for the project ahead of four other competitors, including Uber… Careem’s backers include Chinese ride-hailing group Didi Chuxing and German car manufacturer Daimler.

Simeon Kerr