Ride-hailing app says it has appointed 14 Emirati Captains with another 30 set to join shortly
Ride-hailing app Careem has unveiled its first group of Emirati drivers in Abu Dhabi, just days after rival Uber did the same.
"Careem is proud to present the first group of Emirati Captains who truly embody national sentiments and a desire to serve the community, and in so doing, introduce their city in the best possible way to the visitors," said Bassel Al Nahlaoui, managing director of Careem Gulf in comments published by state news agency WAM.
Careem's recruitment follows an outreach programme in collaboration with Department of Transport's Integrated Transport Centre (ITC) targeting UAE nationals.
The new programme attracted more than 100 applicants, and Careem revealed that the first group includes 14 captains, while more than 30 more captains are to join the fleet in the coming weeks.
Asked if they are planning to target Emirati women in the future, Al Nahlaoui said: "We are already targeting Emirati women and we already have Emirati women as applicants, and they are going through the process. We will see Emirati women on the road very soon."
His comments comes a week after Uber announced that Emirati nationals in Abu Dhabi have begun chauffeuring passengers in their private vehicles for the first time.
Uber was relaunched in the UAE’s capital in December.
Gheed El Makkaoui, general manager of Careem UAE, told WAM that her company and ICT chose to have a separate car type for the new service, called Go Emirati.
She said that the prices of the service will be equivalent to taxis, adding: "The whole purpose is how to make it affordable to ensure that we are giving the opportunity for both the Captains and customers to experience this community service."
"The goal is to give tourists and residents alike a true Emirati experience because no one else can deliver it better than a local," she said.
The Emirati Captains will drive luxury cars including Lexus, Range Rover, Hyundai Genesis, Cadillac Escalade and Nissan Patrol brands.