Ride-sharing companies must pay up $1.7m to obtain a five-year licence
Dubai’s Careem welcomed the decision by Egyptian lawmakers to approve a bill regulating ride-hailing apps such as Careem and its rival Uber, after parliament said, leaving in two articles that allow security services to obtain customers' data.
The legislation was passed despite concerns among some lawmakers, including the "25-30" grouping that has opposed several bills.
"We expressed our reservations on articles nine and 10, and asked that the text include obtaining the prosecution's permission before getting any of the customers' data," said Diaa al-Din Dawoud, a member of the "25-30" group.
Egypt's minister of parliamentary affairs reassured lawmakers that the bill will be implemented according to the criminal code, which includes regulations on obtaining private information, and the constitution, Dawoud said.
The bill stipulates that all ride-sharing companies must pay up to 30 million pounds ($1.7 million) to obtain a five-year licence, while the cabinet can approve payment in instalments, according to the state-run Al-Ahram newspaper.
In March an Egyptian administrative court banned the ride-sharing services following a lawsuit by a lawyer representing cab drivers.
But Uber and UAE-based Careem appealed the ban, and the following month the ruling was suspended pending a verdict from the higher administrative court.
Many Egyptians who complain about taxi services, including drivers who refuse to turn on their meters or their air conditioning during the summer heat, had switched to the ride-sharing apps.
Welcoming the decision, a spokesperson for Careem said, ““Today's vote and passage of the ride-hailing law marks a remarkable step for Egypt, Careem and our region.
“It is the first time in any of Careem's operating markets that a regulatory framework for ride-hailing has emerged from a consultative legislative and parliamentary process.
In passing the law, the Egyptian government and Parliament sends out a strong signal that Egypt continues to be open for business and investment and is a hub for innovation and the technology ecosystem.”