Careem Networks FZ, the Dubai-based company recently acquired by Uber Technologies Inc. for $3.1 billion, started a bus service in Saudi Arabia as the ride-hailing firm expands into mass transport.

The company, which started a similar service in Egypt in December, will provide a direct ride between Jeddah on the Red Sea to the holy city of Mecca for 25 riyals ($6.7) each way. The distance between the two cities is about 85 kilometers (53 miles.)

The service aims to capture traffic from millions of religious visitors and residents of Saudi Arabia performing Umrah, Islam’s minor pilgrimage. It will start with 13-seat buses, Careem said in a statement.

Careem has also branched out into into food and package deliveries, scheduled rides as well as credit transfers. Uber announced the acquisition in March but the deal allows Careem to continue to operate as a standalone brand.

 

©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

 

This article was written by Matthew Martin and Layan Odeh from Bloomberg and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.

Photo Credit: The Kaaba in Al-Masjid al-Ḥarām (The Sacred Mosque), built by the Prophet Abraham as a place to worship God Omar A. / Visual Hunt