Cairo fastest growing city in MENA with 30,000 drivers, says Uber Egypt

Ahram Online , Sunday 14 Aug 2016

Uber spoke about its plans to invest more money into the car hailing service in Egypt and to provide a better method of transport

Anthony Khoury, head of Middle East and Africa expansions for Uber, displays the application on a mobile phone during an event to celebrate the official launch of the car-hailing service in Cairo, Egypt, Tuesday, Feb. 10, 2015. (AP)

Thirty-thousand drivers are now using Uber in Cairo as a source of income, making the Egyptian capital the fastest growing city in the region for the car-hailing application since its launch in late 2014, a press release by the service read on Sunday.

The company also spoke about growing opportunities for drivers, with some who started with one car in the past were now "small business owners employing others."

"Seventy-percent [of drivers] now use Uber part-time to supplement their income from elsewhere, although 40% had been completely unemployed beforehand," the service's press release stated.

"Uber transformed urban mobility for millions of Egyptians when we launched in Cairo, introducing a safe, reliable and efficient way to move around the city" the general-manager of Uber Egypt Anthony Khoury said.

The company reiterated its commitment to invest EGP 500 million over the next two years in one of their fastest growing markets as part of 2.2 billion in investments in the MENA region.

"Our goal is to invest more than ever before in Egypt -- providing more work as well as a better way to travel for Egyptians,” Khoury added.

According to the company, the investments will be used to "provide more resources and training to grow the driver network as well as a continuing development in the country so the service can reach more people and cities in Egypt.

Uber has been operating in the coastal city of Alexandria since December 2015, while the company also provides services in Gouna and Sahel offering cars -- and tuk-tuks -- during the summer season. 

Khoury added that the Egyptian government was encouraging discussions that are currently under way regarding  "regulations" for the ride-sharing application, though he did not provide more details.

Last March, Egypt's cabinet said that it would begin to regulate Uber and the Dubai-based Careem car-hailing services by drafting new legislation after hearing recommendations from a ministerial committee, yet no further actions have been taken.

The decision by the government came following a wave of dissent by traditional taxi drivers that lead to a series of protests and a sit-in that crippled Cairo traffic early in the year.

In February, traditional taxi drivers began protests calling for the Egyptian government to interfere and ban the use of such applications due to what they claimed was their illegal status, as well as a perceived threat to their livelihood.

Speaking to Ahram Online in February, Uber Cairo’s Operation Manager Abdellatif Waked said they are not against taxi drivers and that they understand the fact that they might be upset about some aspects of their operations.

“Cairo has about 20 million people, the market is large, so it is possible that it can accommodate taxi drivers, Uber, and other competitors,” Waked said in February.


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