Dubai: The number of drivers registering to work with tech-driven global taxi firm Uber has quadrupled over the last year, expanding significantly since it first rolled out its service in Dubai two years ago.
Uber has tied up with several limousine companies to offer their services, unlike their model of operation elsewhere, where they directly tie up with individuals offering their services as drivers.
“Uber is a licensed technology company that connects riders with drivers. To do so, we have partnered with multiple licensed limo companies and currently have hundreds of drivers registered on our systems. The number of drivers registered with us has increased four times since last year,” said Jambu Palaniappan, regional general manager for the Middle East and Africa at Uber.
According to Uber, 50 per cent of its passengers are tourists, with most popular pick and drop off points being Dubai Airport Terminal 3 and Terminal 1, with 56 per cent and 33 per cent coverage respectively.
The taxi service is busiest in the southern areas of Dubai, including Discovery Gardens, Dubai Marina, Dubai Sports City, etc.
Uber offers two type of services, with different fare structures. UberSELECT starts with a base fare of Dh8, with an extra Dh0.5 per minute and Dh1.8 per kilometre.
Its second service, UberBLACK, starts with a base fare of Dh10, with an extra Dh0.8 per minute and Dh1.9 per kilometre.
“Our ridership has increased tenfold and the demand grows by 20 per cent during the weekend. We have had incredible support in Dubai, both from tourists and residents. We are giving people an alternative choice in transport, and our goal is to deliver on safety, reliability and convenience and the overall quality of service,” said Palaniappan, who didn’t divulge ridership figures.
Uber service can be availed of through its mobile application and, according to Palaniappan, the estimated time taken for its drivers to reach the customers upon request is just five minutes.
Some of the vehicles being used are Lexus ES, Audi A6 and BMW 5 Series.
Uber also operates from Abu Dhabi.