Careem Suspends Its Ride-Hailing Services In Qatar
The announcement comes without any official explanation, though is thought to be due to a lack of regulatory approval.
Yesterday (Monday, February 27), Uber Technologies sent a message to customers informing them that Careem, the Dubai-based company acquired by the ride-hailing giant in 2019 for $3.1 billion, will cease operations in Qatar today.
The surprise announcement comes just two months after Qatar’s soccer World Cup, which saw Careem-branded vehicles forming part of the official transport infrastructure, alongside Uber cars and local taxis from Karwa.
“Unfortunately, Careem’s ride-hailing operations will no longer operate in Qatar as of February 28, 2023,” informed the message, telling customers that Careem credit would be refunded by March 15, 2023.
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Careem’s message did not explain the cancellation of the service, and no one has responded to requests for comment, including parent company Uber.
Careem only offered ride-hailing services in Qatar, unlike larger Middle Eastern markets like the United Arab Emirates, where the super app also provides food delivery, digital payments and courier services.
The company suspended its services in Lebanon last year due to the unfavorable economic situation in the country.
NEOM Airlines Is Saudi Arabia’s New, Tech-Centric Carrier
The airline will embrace advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence, and utilize high-tech propulsion systems by 2026.
Opening in 2025, NEOM is a $500 billion Saudi Arabian smart city that will be powered entirely by renewable energy. Now, Saudi authorities have announced that the futuristic metropolis will also be served by its own dedicated carrier — NEOM Airlines.
The service will begin operating in 2024 and embrace advanced technologies, including artificial intelligence and biometric check in. Aircraft will fly to and from NEOM Bay before moving to the soon-to-be-built NEOM International Airport.
Also Read: ChatGPT Is Accelerating The AI Revolution In The Middle East
NEOM Airlines will focus on tourist, commercial, and residential travel and incorporate plenty of cutting-edge technology. Klaus Goersch, the airline’s CEO, revealed that existing aircraft will be retrofitted with existing technology on launch, but by 2026, an ultra-modern fleet will be in operation, “whether electric, hydrogen-powered, or supersonic”.
As well as modern, low-emissions power airplanes, NEOM aircraft will also be fitted with sleek, modern interiors, 6G Wi-Fi, large screens for every seat, plus gaming and chat technology.