Economy, Sci & Tech

Uber, Dubai Resolve Differences

Uber, Dubai Resolve Differences
Uber, Dubai Resolve Differences

Ride-hailing service Uber signed an agreement with Dubai’s transport authorities on Wednesday to become fully regulated after a series of clashes over pricing and availability.

The two will also team up on a project to study how to cut congestion and the cost of transport in the emirate, which Uber hopes will open up more business opportunities in the future, Reuters reported on January 12.

Under the deal between Uber and the Roads and Transport Authority [of Dubai] (RTA), Uber will be able to use 14,000 vehicles through its app “as per the laws governing the operation of taxis and limousines in Dubai emirate”, an RTA statement said.

Present in Dubai since 2013, Uber has had shaky ties with the RTA partly due to a disagreement about pricing and whether it had to follow the path of local rival Careem and allow customers to book all taxi rides in the emirate, not just its own.

Previously, Uber, in which Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund bought a $3.5 billion stake in June, had complained that Dubai’s regulations required it to price its rides 30% above taxi fares - a very large gap by international standards.

Uber’s relations with neighboring Abu Dhabi have also been frosty. Uber’s services have been suspended in the emirate since August in an apparent dispute with authorities there. Careem also halted its Abu Dhabi services in late August but resumed them a few days later.

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