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Wed 22 Jan 2020 03:12 PM

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Dubai's Careem announces plans to axe Oman service

Social media post claims absence of regulatory factors were behind move to pull out of sultanate

Dubai's Careem announces plans to axe Oman service

Careem is set to pull out of Oman and will no longer be operating its service in the sultanate from February 3.

The news was shared on the company’s social media pages on Wednesday.

It said: “Careem decided to discontinue operating in Oman due to the absence of the regulatory factors that provide us with a healthy investment environment.

The company did not specify what the “regulatory factors” were.

A further posting said: “It’s been a privilege to have served you together with our dedicated Captains. If you have any credits left, please use them before Sunday, February 2, 2020, otherwise we will refund the remaining credits to your registered credit card.”

The Dubai-based ride hailing app was bought by Uber in a $3.1 billion deal completed two weeks ago.

Careem was originally launched in Muscat in May 2017 on its own, but stopped when it was asked by the Government of Oman to reconsider their operating model and focus first on working with licensed taxis.

The company resumed operations in Oman in September 2018, in partnership with local operator Marhaba Taxi.

Uber was told last year that it could operate in Oman “if they agree to operate under the regulations set by the [Minister of Transport and Communications] ministry”, the minister Dr Ahmed Al Futaisi said at the time.

“Services such as Uber and Careem can be implemented in yellow taxis only after meters are installed in the vehicles,” Dr Futaisi said.

“We are aware that this is a service that many travellers and tourists look for, but if they are to operate here, they must do so following the country’s ways and not their own,” he added.

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