By Sarah Townsend
Dubai regulator seeks to distance itself from supposed new regulations on ride-hailing apps
Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has sought to distance itself from news of new fees it is allegedly imposing on ride-hailing apps such as Uber and Careem.
In a statement on its website on Monday, Careem announced that its passengers would be hit with a surcharge of AED3 ($0.82) per trip from January 23, which would be passed directly to the RTA according to new rules from the regulator.
The fee is applicable on both on-demand and pre-scheduled completed journeys and will be included on all passenger receipts labelled as ‘RTA fee’.
The fee would not apply to RTA taxis booked through the Careem app – a service that is scheduled to launch shortly following a deal between the two parties earlier this month, Careem said.
Uber, meanwhile, said it had agreed to comply with the RTA’s new rules requiring a tax on trips booked through its platform, on the condition that it could work with the regulator on the exact size of the fee.
However, the RTA declined to provide Arabian Business with any information about the new regulations and instead sought to distance itself from the news.
An RTA spokesperson said: “The Dubai Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) confirmed that it has no relation to the fare increase imposed by the (Careem) Company of booking limos via its smart app.”
The spokesperson then went on to reiterate the news that RTA customers can now use the Careem app to book transportation services: “RTA further explained that limos can be booked through different channels including smart apps of limo companies, online booking companies or by calling 04-2080555 to book a Dubai Taxi limo.”
It is not known how the AED3 surcharge was calculated and Careem has been contacted for further comment.
Uber told Arabian Business it was working with the RTA on an exclusive three-month-long study to devise an “economic” pricing model.For all the latest transport news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.
"It is not known how the AED3 surcharge was calculated and Careem has been contacted for further comment."
I would imagine it was how much do we think we can charge before people kick up a fuss.
I'm unsure why both Careem and Uber would announce that it's an RTA charge if that wasn't the case. And with the RTA now distancing themselves it's difficult to see how they can implement a charge if nobody owns up to levying it.
Careem have started charging AED 3 on my trips even though the RTA denies imposing any surcharge on them.
I called Careem to complain and they said its a mistake and will refund the charges.
I wonder how much money has been taken already that is not being forwarded to RTA and is sitting in Careem's bank account.