By Sarah Townsend
Ride-hailing apps Careem and Uber both suspended their services in the emirate last August
Careem is to re-launch operations in Abu Dhabi from February 9, it has announced, after it and rival transport app Uber abruptly halted services last year.
Private ride-hailing apps Uber and Careem stopped operating in Abu Dhabi at the end of August 2016, but neither company explained why or indicated when or if they would resume.
However, they both insisted the suspensions were temporary.
This week, Careem issued a statement saying its regular Ride Now booking service would be available again in Abu Dhabi as from February 9 2017.
Careem users will also be able to book on-demand rides through a new service exclusive to Abu Dhabi called Careem Limo, with prices starting at AED40 for rides originating in the emirate.
Careem said the service had been launched in response to “overwhelming number of requests in the last few months”.
“This service will be operated under the regulations for limo services in Abu Dhabi – making Careem the only ride-hailing app service in the city,” Careem said.
Careem’s statement suggests that Uber will not resume its own services. Arabian Business has contacted Uber for comment.
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 the second ever city we launched when we first started out in 2012.
“Our mission is to simplify and improve the lives of people. We are fully committed to offering a great service for people in the UAE capital, as well as supporting our captains [drivers] who are the lifeblood of our business.
“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 said it was offering 30 percent off users’ next 10 Careem rides in Abu Dhabi to celebrate the launch of Careem Limo.