Careem-RTA to form new joint venture e-hail taxi firm

By Angel Chan

DUBAI 24 December 2018: Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) announced the establishment of an E-Hail taxi joint venture with Careem Networks Company (Careem).

Accordingly, the new company, the name and logo of which will be announced in the next few months, will cater to the e-hail taxi service to customers as of April 2019. The e-hail taxi market for limousines will remain open for the existing operators without any change.

“The RTA has chalked out plans and identified the detailed requirements for revamping the taxi sector in partnership with a world-class operator. Many global e-hail companies were immensely interested in teaming with the RTA as Dubai offers excellent business prospects and has a global reputation as an attractive business haven,” said Mattar Al Tayer, RTA Director-General and Chairman.

“Five of the big e-hail taxi companies operating in the global market have submitted technical and financial proposals. Careem was selected after the assessment of submissions made. Careem will cater to the provision of the e-hail technology, and the management of bookings & drivers through its existing app; which is flexible and user-friendly.

10,843 Taxis

“The e-hail of about 10,843 taxis will be exclusively run for a limited period by the new company; the name and logo of which will be announced in future. The new company will start passenger service in April 2019, and the online booking market of about 6,450 limousines will be open for companies operating in the sector, without any change,” concluded Al Tayer.

Mudassir Sheikha, Co-founder and Managing Director of Careem, welcomed the partnership and cooperation with the RTA, and said: “Careem’s journey to simplify and improve the lives of people in the region, started here in Dubai – this is Careem’s home, its source of inspiration. Over the last six years, the technology that we have developed here in Dubai has delivered hundreds of millions of rides and transformed the way people move around in 120 cities of our region”.

“This partnership is the first of its kind worldwide between a government transport authority and a private entity specialised in taxi e-hail business. It sets a model of an excellent partnership in running comprehensive public transport systems shared between the public and private sectors. The e-hail has become the most effective tool of matching the supply with demand, and offering clients a smooth experience in obtaining taxis,” commented Al Tayer.

Single App for All Modes

“Establishing the new joint venture supports Dubai’s Integrated Mobility Platform (S’Hail); which enables customers to access to all transit means through a single window (smart app). It integrates RTA’s transit means (metro, tram, buses, marine transport means, and taxis) with the transit means provided by other parties in Dubai, such as limousine companies.

“Through this new company, the RTA intends to leverage the taxi sector in Dubai. It involves raising the efficiency of taxis in Dubai through enhanced accessibility of vehicles and their online booking and reducing the expected waiting time for the vehicle. It also entails a host of advantages to clients such as making a direct online payment via the app, charting the most suitable journey route, sharing the ride with others, and displaying details of the vehicle and driver, in addition to an option for providing the service with a chauffeur,” explained Al Tayer.

Shared Journeys

“It also enables the launch of new transit services in future such as shared journeys, and supports RTA’s efforts in achieving multi-modal integration, besides offering short-journey service (first and last mile); which assists public transport commuters to reach their final destination.