In Saudi Arabia, that means continuing to expand and determine the requirements of the kingdom’s soon-to-be-driving female population.
In Dubai, Uber plans to continue pushing UberX as an affordable transportation option, helping more people travel to and from the emirate’s transportation deserts.
Just as importantly, Anthony Khoury, the general manager of Uber Middle East, says that Uber will continue to work with regulators to help Uber expand into other parts of the UAE, including Abu Dhabi, where services were suspended in August 2016.
“We definitely want to continue expanding our offerings throughout different cities in the countries that are ready. We’re in discussions with Abu Dhabi and want to get back.”
But he admits that “the reality is that our vision is to be able to provide affordable transportation.
The current [regulations] do not really permit us to do that. This is why we want to first work with the government to get to that point before we launch again.”
As an example of the company’s success in the region, Khoury points to Uber getting the green light for additional growth in Saudi Arabia, a certificate for regulatory alignment by the kingdom’s Public Transport Authority issued in April.
Uber’s original objective was to enlist 100,000 Saudi drivers by 2020, but even that ambitious number has now been surpassed, much to Khoury’s delight.
“We set this target at the end of 2016 but achieved it much quicker. In 2017, we were able to get 140,000 Saudi drivers,” he says, adding that Saudi Arabia has been “a huge success” for the company.
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(Source: Arabianbusiness.com YouTube channel)