All Careem-booked taxis will offer payment modes like cash, credit card and Nol card currently available on the RTA taxis. Image Credit: Zarina Fernandes/ Gulf News archives

Dubai: All taxis in Dubai will soon be available through the Careem app under a new agreement between the e-hail taxi provider and the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA).

Careem, one of Dubai’s popular private online taxi booking platforms, currently offers only limousine services, which cost 30 per cent more than regular taxis. Under the new agreement between the RTA and Careem signed on Tuesday, all of the emirate’s 9,841 taxis operated by Dubai Taxi as well as other franchises will be on Careem’s platform.

This will be in addition to 4,700 limousines or luxury cabs that could be previously booked through the platform, which means, customer booking for taxis through Careem will have a choice of booking either a regular taxi or a luxury limousine.

Announcing the agreement, Mattar Al Tayer, director general and chairman of the Board of Directors at RTA, said the initiative will provide more options and added convenience to e-hail users.

“The RTA always seeks to work in partnership with the private sector to provide smart mobility solutions for all in a smooth and integrated way. Career is one of the best e-hail platforms in the region and we are pleased to have them under the RTA umbrella,” said Al Tayer.

However, he added that the RTA is open to welcome other e-hail companies offering similar services.

“We don’t want to close the door on anyone; there is a possibility of more companies coming under the RTA umbrella. This is part of the RTA’s Integrated Mobility Platform (IMP) which will offer customers easy access to all modes of transport under a single window,” he added.

Speaking to Gulf News, Mudassir Shaikha, managing director of Careem, said: “Having all Dubai taxis on board will help us provide a better service. This will especially help tourists who are used to Careem services in other counties as they won’t have to download a different app to avail the taxi services in Dubai.”

He added that all Careem booked taxis will offer different payment modes that are currently available on the RTA taxis like cash, credit card as well as Nol card.

However, the Careem platform will not replace the RTA’s existing taxi booking system, which includes Smart Taxi app, as well as a dispatch centre.

“Both the platforms will work simultaneously and offer more choices to riders. It will also ensure a higher rate of availability, which will mean the customers will wait for a shorter period of time,” said Adel Shakeri, Director of Transportation Systems at the RTA’s Public Transport Agency.

According to Shakeri, this is a step towards building IMP, which will be ready by next year.

“We will have the Integrated Mobility Platform ready by mid-2017 and once it’s ready, Careem and other transport services will be part of it. It will ensure payment will be made through a single gateway and one system will be applicable for all modes of transport including taxis,” he added.

The platform will act as a single window to access all transport services in Dubai like metro, tram, monorail, Dubai Trolley as well as taxis, buses and ferries.