UberX and Careem Go will no longer be available in Dubai from September
1 September 2019| Last updated on 3 September 2019
The short-term projects have been discontinued
They brought Dubai residents economy options with UberX and Careem Go. For thousands of commuters in the city, the two car-hailing companies changed the face of public transport in Dubai, allowing passengers to find rides with an ease previously unheard of - for a budget price.
But as of September, the cheapest options on the Uber and Careem app are no longer available.
The pilot projects came to a halt under a directive from the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA). UberX has been discontinued in Dubai, whereas the Careem Go service has been removed.
"UberX has been operating as a pilot in Dubai for the last two years, subject to RTA discretion and approval. As per the recent decision by the RTA to bring this pilot to an end, we will be ceasing the operation of UberX in Dubai," an RTA spokesperson said in a statement.
Careem sent the following message via email: "In collaboration with the RTA, the GO car type was launched as a pilot project in 2017 and is now coming to an end. As of today, this option will no longer be available in Dubai."
The RTA spokesperson told Khaleej Times, "Uber X and Careem Go were introduced as short-term pilot e-hailing services for customers seeking an economy option. All this was done to compare and evaluate existing and new e-hailing services in the city and check on the feasibility of such technology and services in the market."
Careem launches Hala
As of now, there are 5,500 ride-hailing vehicles available through Careem's new service, Hala. Residents may have seen these newly designed taxis driving around Dubai with their white and sky blue roofs and body. According to RTA, the Hala service matches the basic price of Dubai's government-run, street-hailed taxi. The base fare for Hala cars starts at AED 8 during regular hours and AED 12 during peak hours.
“Careem’s e-hailing system has been integrated with RTA’s taxi management systems,” RTA said in an announcement. “Drivers have been trained on receiving e-hailing requests from customers and new relevant concepts associated with this advanced service.”
In previous test runs, Hala was found to bring down the estimated time to arrival by less than 5 minutes. These rides can be booked through the app or hailed on the street.
Other services for Uber are still available in Dubai, such as Uber Select (rides in high-end cars), Basic (rides in luxury cars), and XL (rides for groups of up to 6 people).
Earlier in March, Uber bought Careem for AED 11.39 billion, eclipsing Amazon's US $ 580 million acquisition of the UAE-based e-commerce site Souq.