No chance Uber will be in Abu Dhabi soon

Basic discussion are on with TransAD, safety of drivers and riders important, says Khoury

(Getty Images)

(Getty Images)

Ride-hailing company Uber is not planning to restart its service in Abu Dhabi until the “current licensing regulations in the emirate are eased”, a senior company executive told Arabian Business.

The global taxi hailing app, which has operations in 500 cities, suspended its operation in the UAE capital in August 2016, along with rival company, Careem, both calling the suspensions "temporary". This month, the Careem resumed operations, launching “Careem Limo”, though prices starting at $10.90 (AED40).

Anthony Khoury, regional manager, Uber Middle East, said the company will be talking to The Centre for Regulation of Transport by Hire Cars (TransAD), the Abu Dhabi government entity that manages the taxi and transport sector, seeking to “work out solutions for easing of licensing regulations”.

“We believe in affordable, convenient and safe transportation but the regulations in Abu Dhabi is a ‘bit more restrictive’ for us to resume our operation. We are having ‘basic’ discussions with the TransAD.

“Safety of our drivers and riders is important for us. The day we see the ‘positive change’ in these regulations, we will relaunch our service,” he said.

The company did not share regulations that led to suspension of services.

On Tuesday, Arabian Business reported that the company will launch UberX, its economy service, in Dubai on a pilot basis in March. Details of the pricing will be unveiled at the time.

At present, the ride-hailing app currently offers UberSelect (regular), UberXL (4x4) and UberBlack (luxury) in Dubai.

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