Transport Cars

Uber Officially Begins Operations in Saudi Arabia

May 24, 2014 5:00 pm

Skift Take

The article presents a glowingly positive evaluation of the Uber service, but it’s clear that although Uber may face regulatory issues in certain cities, the company is pushing ahead, often with first-mover advantage.

— Dennis Schaal

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Lucy Nicholson  / Reuters

An Uber app is seen on an iPhone in Beverly Hills, California, December 19, 2013. The company has officially launched in Saudi Arabia. Lucy Nicholson / Reuters


Uber’s technology was launched in the Saudi capital this week, enabling passengers to connect with nearby drivers, according to Karim Khattar, Uber Riyadh general manager.

“The app allows users to request a private car to arrive within minutes and take them to any destination in the city. Uber is evolving the way the world moves in cities,” Khattar said.

The app, already localized to over 110 cities worldwide, works with local rental car and limousine companies to provide drivers with technology, allowing for a more reliable and efficient mode of transportation for Riyadh residents and visitors.

All users need to do is download the app and input their credit card details. At the click of a button, a BMW 5 series or a Luxury SUV shows up at their location. The official launch follows a two-month period in which the technology was tested throughout Riyadh.

Khattar said: “By seamlessly connecting riders to drivers through our apps, we make cities more accessible, and provide safer and more reliable transportation options to the public.”

He added: “Riyadh is a vibrant market with an advanced technological infrastructure so it made sense to bring our platform here. We look forward to growing our number of partners throughout the city and the country.”

He said that the key to the Uber technology is the unprecedented safety and the accountability features built into the app, adding that once a user makes a request, he or she is able to see the name, photo and license plate of the driver that will pick him or her up as well as see where exactly they are located on a map.

“Riders can also share their route and estimated time of arrival with family and friends, and even rate the driver following the ride,” he said.

Another added value to the technological service is the fact that all transactions are cashless, making the payment method both seamless and convenient, he added. ___

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