Egypt's High Administrative Court overturns ban on Uber, Careem operations

Ahram Online , Saturday 23 Feb 2019

File Photo: A man walks near a banner of ride-sharing application Uber in Cairo (Photo: Reuters)

Egypt’s High Administrative Court has overturned a lower administrative court ruling that suspended the operations of ride-hailing services Uber and Careem in the country, after a year of uncertainty around the legal status of the companies’ activities.

The court’s decision came following appeals by the government, San Francisco-based Uber and UAE-based Careem against the March 2018 verdict that banned the two services.

The appeals filed by the government represented by the State Lawsuits Authority and by Uber and Careem argued that the applications were authorised by the investment minister, making their operations legal.

They also pointed at a newly issued law by the parliament to regulate the applications in May 2018, which was later ratified by President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi.

The law imposes fees on the companies, as well as fines on whose who operate the service without a license. Uber and Careem have welcomed the new law.

The saga first began when the two companies were challenged by a lawsuit in February 2017 by drivers of traditional white taxis, who accused the services of violating laws by using privately owned vehicles for commercial purposes. The case was filed against the two operators as well as the government.

After a March 2018 verdict banning the applications, a court of urgent matters ruled in April that the implementation of the verdict would be suspended.

Uber, first launched in San Francisco seven years ago, began operating in Egypt in November 2014. The service now operates in more than 80 countries.

Its rival Careem operates across 13 countries and more than 90 cities in the Middle East and Asia. It was also launched in Egypt in 2014.

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