Swvl acquires first-ever ride-hailing license in Egypt

Ahram Online , Thursday 8 Jun 2023

The Dubai-based Egyptian company Swvl has become the first company to acquire a license for transporting people in Egypt using an app, according to a statement released by the Ministry of Transport on Thursday.

Swvl co-founders Mostafa Eissa Kandil (left), Mahmoud Nouh (center) and Ahmed Sabbah (right) next to a Swvl bus (Photo courtesy of Swvl).


A five-year license was granted to Swvl based on a contract signed between the Land Transport Regulatory Authority (LTRA) and the company in accordance with Law 87/2018 and its bylaws, according to the statement.

Swvl was founded in 2017 in Egypt as a mass transit solutions start-up.

In 2019, the company moved headquarters to Dubai as part of a global expansion plan.

In April 2022, following a $1.5 million merger deal with the New York-based Queen’s Gambit Growth Capital,  Swvl began trading on the NASDAQ exchange.

In the works

Other popular ride-hailing apps operating in Egypt such as Uber, Careem, Indrive and DiDi have been working in the market under temporary arrangements with the authorities, but that could change soon.

 “Uber and Careem, who have been operating under temporary legal arrangements, are currently finalizing requirements to obtain licenses similar to the one granted to Swvl,” the Head of the LTRA Sayyed Metwally told Ahram Online that

 “InDrive and DiDi are taking initial steps in the process of obtaining licenses,” Metwally added.

In 2019, Uber and Careem, which had been operating in the country without proper licenses since entering the market in 2014, legalised their status following decrees issued by the authorities regulating operations of ride-hailing companies.

Meanwhile, Minister of Transport Kamel El-Wazir emphasized that the agreement between the LTRA and Swvl represents an important step towards regulating the work of transport companies which use advanced technologies, according to the ministry’s statement.

This agreement with Swvl will reduce carbon emissions in the country in line with the government goal of achieving sustainable development and also attract new investments into the transport sector, El-Wazir added.

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