/What its like taking Careem, UAE ride-hailing app Uber bought for $3b – Business Insider

What its like taking Careem, UAE ride-hailing app Uber bought for $3b – Business Insider


A Saudi woman shows the Careem app on her mobile phone in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, January 2, 2017.  REUTERS/Faisal Al Nasser

A Saudi woman showing the Careem app on her phone in Riyadh in January 2017.

Thomson Reuters


  • Uber finalized its purchase of the Dubai-based ride-hailing app Careem for $3.1 billion earlier this month.
  • Careem is the biggest ride-hailing app in the Middle East, with one million drivers operating across 90 cities in 15 countries. 
  • While in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, I took a Careem to see why it was so popular, and so attractive to Uber.
  • My experience was excellent on the whole, and I won’t be surprised to see several Careem features migrate to the Uber app soon.
  • Editor’s Note: Business Insider has blurred the faces and other identifying details of the drivers mentioned in this story. It has not blurred the faces of drivers in file and stock photos.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Uber completed a $3.1 billion takeover of the Dubai-based ride-hailing app Careem earlier this month.

Careem is a wildly popular service only available in 15 countries across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. This means Uber now has a firm monopoly over the ride-hailing game in Saudi Arabia, Jordan, the UAE, Egypt, Pakistan and Qatar.

I was in Saudi Arabia earlier this month, and took the chance to try a Careem to see what the hype was about. Uber is also available in the kingdom.

Here’s what it was like to ride Careem in Saudi Arabia, and the key ways it differed from taking an Uber in the US and UK, as well as Saudi Arabia:

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