Careem resumes services in Abu Dhabi under new regulations

Users will be able to book on-demand rides through the app using a new service called Careem Limo

Ride-hailing app Careem announced that it will resume on-demand services in Abu Dhabi from Thursday, February 9, in line with new regulations issued in the UAE capital.

Careem users will be able to book on-demand rides through the app using a new service called Careem Limo.

The new service will be operated under the regulations for limo services in Abu Dhabi, making Careem the only ride-hailing app service in the city, it said in a statement.

Ride-hailing apps such as Uber and Careem were forced to suspend their operations in Abu Dhabi last year, after the emirate announced regulatory changes.

According to reports, some of their drivers were even detained by officials.

Read more: Uber, Careem services down as drivers detained in Abu Dhabi

“We made the decision to suspend services briefly in August in line with updates on the regulatory framework – this lasted a few days and our scheduled booking option has been available in the capital consistently to date,” a spokesperson said.

“Since then, there has been huge demand for our on-demand service.”

Under the new regulations, ride-hailing apps are only allowed to work with luxury private hire companies and strictly follow their price structure.

They also have to register with The Centre for Regulation of Transport by Hire Cars (Transad).

Read more: Abu Dhabi plans new regulations for apps such as Uber, Careem

Aura Lunde, general manager of Careem UAE said: “Abu Dhabi is a special market for Careem- being home to many of our team members as well as being the second ever city launched when we first started out in 2012.

“We are fully committed to offering a great service for people in the UAE capital, as well as supporting our captains [drivers]. We will continue to work in close partnership with the local authorities to enhance the transportation network for all residents and visitors to Abu Dhabi and hope to introduce new services in the near future.”

Careem has a fleet of 90,000-plus drivers, with over four million users registered through its mobile app.

In December, Saudi Telecom (STC) agreed to buy a 10 per cent stake in the company for $100m.

Read more: Saudi Telecom board approves $100m investment in Dubai’s Careem

Also read: Dubai ride-hailing company Careem says profitability in sight