Careem, the home-grown, chauffeur-cab booking service, has teamed up with The Entertainer, the buy-one-get-one-free coupons catalogue, in a move that could jump-start the UAE’s digital economy.
Careem is usually booked through its mobile app, email or phone but now it can also be booked through the Entertainer app in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Riyadh, Jeddah, Qatar, Bahrain and Kuwait.
Since its launch in 2012 the chauffeur service has grown exponentially, particularly after it changed its focus from the business traveller to consumers. Over the past 18 months its rides have jumped 30 per cent every month, and it intends to keep rate of growth, it said.
“The Entertainer sits brilliantly with our service,” Christian Eid, the general manager of Careem, said yesterday. “When people book on the Entertainer app to go out for a meal or a brunch they can simultaneously book a car to take them there and pick them up. It is a win-win for both companies and why we joined forces.”
The global taxi-hailing firm Uber joined the fray for chauffered taxis in the UAE in 2013, leading many to forecast Careem’s demise, but in fact Uber has acted as a spur to the Dubai company, it said.
“We think the competition has been fantastic for us because it has made our company and our service better,” said Mr Eid. “We are now in 27 cities in 10 countries and adding two to three cities a week. Our reach is from Morocco to Lahore, and I think we have only scratched the surface with regard to the opportunity in front of us.”
Follow The National’s Business section on Twitter