Font Size

- Aa +

Wed 31 Aug 2016 09:22 AM

Font Size

- Aa +

Update: Careem resumes services in Abu Dhabi

Dubai-based private car hire company operating ‘on a skeleton basis’ in the capital

Update: Careem resumes services in Abu Dhabi

Careem
drivers are once again operating in Abu Dhabi, the Dubai-based private car hire
company said in a statement.

The
company, along with global counterpart Uber, had voluntarily maintained a
suspension to their services in Abu Dhabi after up
to 50 drivers were detained by authorities
in the capital.

A spokesman
for Dubai-based Careem said some of the firm’s drivers returned to work on
Wednesday morning.

"Careem
is back [in service] in Abu Dhabi since 8am [on Wednesday] morning and is
operating on a skeleton basis until we are able to regain most of our fleet,”
said Christian Eid, Careem’s VP of marketing in a statement.

“We decided
to re-open our service primarily to support our captains who rely on us to get
business. Supply may be an issue in the capital at the beginning so we ask our
customers to be patient with us until we gradually increase our fleet
to meet demand.

 “We
are glad to be back in Abu Dhabi and are still working closely with the
authorities to secure our mission to provide a reliable platform for
Careem captains as well as a transport solution for our
customers that is unparallelled in our region.”

The
spokesman had earlier said the firm would keep services offline after recent
events created “a climate of uncertainty and fear” for drivers.

Careem has
been reassured that the action from authorities was “not a legality or safety
matter”, said Eid.

“We received complete assurance from the authorities on the
legal standing of our operations in Abu Dhabi,” he said. “Currently, the
regulations for our industry include requiring a minimum price as well as
operating solely with licensed vehicles and drivers.”

An Uber
spokesperson said in a statement sent to Arabian Business the firm’s managers
“do not know the reason for these detentions” and will not resume services
until this is clarified.

It had
suspended services as a “precautionary measure” to avoid putting drivers at risk,
according to the statement.

“On
Saturday, August 27, Uber made the decision to temporarily suspend
services in Abu Dhabi after reports of drivers being detained,” it said. “At
this point we do not know the reason for these detentions.

“While no
driver partners using the Uber platform were stopped, we did this as
a precautionary measure to not put driver partners at
potential risk. At this point we will not resume services in Abu
Dhabi until we have further clarity on the matter and reassurances
that partners will not be at risk.”

Arabian Business has asked TransAd, Abu Dhabi’s Centre For
Regulation of Transport by Hire Cars, for comment.

For all the latest tech 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.