22 March 2019
Uber launched its service in Abu Dhabi in 2013. Photo: Reuters
Uber launched its service in Abu Dhabi in 2013. Photo: Reuters

Uber, Careem suspend services in Abu Dhabi after drivers held

Ride-hailing companies Uber and Careem have suspended their services in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, after as many as 50 of its drivers were arrested by police over the weekend.

The drivers were held at a police station, and up to 70 cars affiliated with the companies had been impounded,  UAE-based newspaper The National said.

Uber and Careem, which were launched in Abu Dhabi in 2013, are allowed to use only licensed drivers from registered limousine companies, must price their services in line with limousine services and cannot compete directly with the city’s taxi companies.

The arrests led some limousine firms to stop providing services to Uber and Careem, crippling their operations, the newspaper said.

Uber and Careem said they had not suspended operations in neighboring Dubai, the commercial and tourist hub of the UAE, according to Reuters.

Uber said last year that the Middle East and North Africa contained some of its fastest-growing markets and that it planned to invest US$250 million to expand in the region.

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