STOCK Dubai Taxi / Taxis
Dubai Taxi Co. owned vehicles did a small matter of 114 million trips during 2023. Now, the company is working towards launching in another emirate, creating jobs and additional growth chances. Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News

Dubai: Dubai Taxi Company is mapping out a clear strategy for its future growth – add more vehicles to its fleet. Launch add-on services to build on its already dominant position in Dubai.

And then, where possible, launch full-scale operations in some of the other emirates.

Ever since Dubai Taxi Co., which had one of the most successful UAE IPOs of 2023, confirmed its appetite for new markets, the speculation has been rising as to which emirate it would get into next. Just as important, when that would happen.

Because riding on this expansion is not just the opening up of a new revenue - and profit – stream for DTC, it’s also about job creation and all the rest of it in that new market. (In Dubai, last year, taxis made 114 million trips.)

“While we are considering several emirates for expansion, our focus is on those with significant growth potential in tourism and urban development,” said Mansoor Rahma Alfalasi, CEO of Dubai Taxi Co..

“Specific emirates will be chosen based on thorough market analysis, the regulatory environment, and alignment with our strategic objectives.

“We aim to replicate our successful Dubai model in other areas, enhancing connectivity and mobility across the UAE.”

In Dubai, DTC has more than 14,000 drivers and 1,000 plus staff. 

Mansoor Rahma Alfalasi, CEO of Dubai Taxi Co., is busy crafting a high growth strategy for the DFM-listed entity. How fast can he go in driving that growth? Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai Taxi Co. operates one of the bigger workforces in the emirate, and keeps adding as it brings in new related services. “We’re focused on growing all four of our business divisions – taxis, limousines, buses and delivery bikes – with an emphasis on organic growth and carefully selected partnerships,” said Alfalasi.

“For the limousine segment specifically, we plan to expand the fleet over the medium term. This follows a period of optimization, driven by a desire to meet the needs of affluent riders, including executive travelers and high networth tourists.

“We anticipate increased demand from these customer segments and believe there is significant potential to serve them.”

DTC already operates bus services in Ajman, based around a tie up with UAE Ministry of Education. There are also arrangements to offer commercial bus services in Abu Dhabi and Ras Al Khaimah.

DTC is on a roll

In 2023, the company scored with a Dh345 million net profit from Dh1.95 billion in revenues. The CEO says while launching in another emirate is part of the plans, there is no move to launch ‘sub-brands’ for services other than taxi rides under the DTC umbrella.

“At this time, we remain focused on strengthening the core DTC brand and continuing to improve our performance across our four existing segments,” he added.

“Delivery bikes, our newest segment launched in September 2022, is experiencing rapid growth, up a significant 8.6 times year-on-year, as we scale up our fleet and enter into new agreements with the likes of (online marketplace) noon and Smiles from Etisalat by e&.”

Stick with owned vehicles strategy?

After the IPO, there was talk among analysts that the company would consider allowing third-party owned fleets to sign up with it. By doing so, it could get DTC move faster on fleet expansion.

Alfalasi doesn’t think much of that. “DTC is proud to own and operate all of our limousines and taxis,” he said.

“This ownership enables us to deliver unparalleled service and reliability across these segments. In terms of fleet expansion, our focus remains on strategic growth and enhancing our service offering to meet the evolving transportation needs of Dubai.

“While we are continuously evaluating our fleet size, we’re focused on delivering on our strategic priorities - rather than a specific numerical fleet target.”

With delivery services, we are going for enhanced profitability through strategic route optimization, technology investments for operational efficiency, and scaling to capitalize on economies of scale

- Mansoor Rahma Alfalasi of Dubai Taxo Co

Get more from limousinces and buses

On limousine services, there is the possibility of partnering hotels and booking platforms to 'secure exclusive rights in new emirates, similar to our strategy in Dubai'.

"Our bus services strategy includes expanding our operations to more corporates and schools, improving our app's reach, and using our established relationship with the Ministry of Education to extend our services under long-term contracts across more emirates," the CEO said.

The DTC fleet includes 1,127 buses to support long-term contractual agreements with private schools in Dubai and Ajman, as well as the Ministry of Education. More than 90 per cent of these are owned by DTC.

"We are actively acquiring additional buses to replace leased ones as our lease agreements conclude," said Alfalasi. "This approach is part of our broader strategy to enhance operational control and the quality of transportation services we provide."