In a sign that ride-haling apps might soon be officially licensed, Careem announced last month that its users will now be able to book cars belonging to Al Mumayaz taxis.
“Careem is a technology platform that is available for everyone operating in this sector to help them work and develop their services,” Sabri Hakim, head of Careem Levant told Venture. “We started off with smart taxis which are the private cars, setting the standards. Then we began allowing the rest of the sector to join starting with Al Mumayaz.”
Hakim added that yellow taxis would surely follow. He also tried to calm general fears that adding yellow cabs would lower Careem’s standards. “The problem was never related to the yellow taxi drivers, but with the bad tariff that gave the drivers no motivation to improve their services and performance,” said Hakim.
The lack of a ratings system also exacerbates the problem. For Careem, when a driver provides quality services they will get a higher rating from the customer which helps them build a record. This, stressed Hakim, would give them the motivation to continuously improve the quality of their work.
A positive aspect to all of this is allowing users of the Careem app to choose the type of car that picks them up, whether it’s a standard Careem car, or a cheaper one belonging to Al Mumayaz or a yellow cab firm.
“I think that people have started to realize that Careem is not a threat and that on the contrary, we are here to cooperate with other stakeholders to develop the sector,” stressed Hakim.