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Photo for illustrative purposes Image Credit: Gulf News archives

Dubai: Taxis in Dubai will be available through the Careem app under a new agreement between the e-hail taxi provider and the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), it was announced on Saturday.

The RTA and ‘Careem’ announced the launch of their taxi e-hailing in Dubai from September under a joint venture (JV) called ‘Hala’.

Matar Al Tayer Director General and Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of RTA said ‘Hala’ stands for an important milestone in the strategic partnership journey between RTA and Careem that supports the efforts of Dubai’s government to make Dubai the smartest city in the world. It is keeping up with the worldwide direction in urban transportation planning in terms of enabling Dubai residents to have smoother journeys and decrease their dependency on privately owned vehicles. Al Tayer noted that this partnership is the first of its kind worldwide between a public transport authority and a private company specialising in smart booking. It also sets a precedence as an outstanding public private partnership (PPP) and fruitful collaboration to uplift the public transport network and sharing mobility.

From trial to on the road

“Hala started a trial e-hailing service for Dubai Taxis in May on 2,000 vehicles whereby a great deal of rides were booked using the Careem App experiencing a substantial growth over the subsequent weeks. The service was rated at no less than 4 out of 5 stars. The estimated time of arrival (ETA) has already reached an average of 4.5 minutes versus previous average of 12-14 minutes, aiming to reach an ETA of 3 minutes in September. Fifty per cent of RTA’s Taxi fleet will be bookable on the Careem App. The trial period witnessed excellent customer and drivers’ satisfaction,” said Al Tayer.

50%

of RTA’s Taxi fleet will be bookable on the Careem App.

“Launching ‘Hala’ aims to improve and enhance the taxi sector in Dubai and increase efficiency, ease the finding a taxi by booking through the app, and lower the estimated time of arrival. In addition, it gives the customer special advantages such as e-payment through the app, knowing trip route and being able to share trip with others, seeing the car and driver information, and ability to rate the service and driver. ‘Hala’ will be also a part of the ‘Careem’ rewards programme whereby customers get to earn points as they ride. Along with providing new transport features in the future, the service will support RTA in achieving full mobility integration and providing first/last mile solutions, which will help public transport users reach their final destination,” he added.

Mudassir Shaikha

Mudassir Sheikha, Co-Founder and CEO of Careem, commented: “Careem aims to simplify and improve the mobility of people in the region. Through this exciting partnership with RTA, we are now able to extend the benefits of our e-hailing technology to the mass population of Dubai through the ‘Careem’ taxi e-hailing App.”

“Customers will be able to find the closest taxi to them on demand, see a fare estimator and time of arrival and connect their credit card for easy, hassle free payment. It also means less down time for the Captains (drivers) who can optimize their time on the road through customer proximity matching and real time alerts of geographical areas experiencing high demand,” Shaikha added.