The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) and Careem on Saturday announced the launch of their taxi e-hailing service in Dubai.
Under a joint venture called Hala, the service will officially being in September, said Mattar Al Tayer, director general and chairman of the RTA.
Hala started a trial for Dubai Taxis in May on 2,000 vehicles whereby rides were booked using the Careem app and the service saw substantial growth over a number of weeks, with it being rated at no less than 4 out of 5 stars.
The estimated time of arrival reached an average of 4.5 minutes versus previous average of 12-14 minutes, aiming to reach an ETA of 3 minutes in September.
About 50 percent of the RTA’s taxi fleet will be bookable on the Careem app in September.
He confirmed that the launch of Hala is an important milestone in the strategic partnership journey between RTA and Careem that supports the efforts of Dubai’s government to make Dubai the smartest city in the world.
He added that this partnership represents the first of its kind worldwide between a public transport authority and a private company specialising in smart booking.
“Launching Hala aims to improve and enhance the taxi sector in Dubai and increase efficiency, ease the finding a taxi by booking through the app, and lower the estimated time of arrival. In addition, it gives the customer special advantages such as e-payment through the app, knowing trip route and being able to share trip with others, seeing the car and driver information, and ability to rate the service and driver,” Al Tayer added.
Mudassir Sheikha, co-founder and CEO of Careem, said: “Careem aims to simplify and improve the mobility of people in the region. Through this exciting partnership with RTA, we are now able to extend the benefits of our e-hailing technology to the mass population of Dubai through the ‘Careem’ taxi e-hailing app.
“Customers will be able to find the closest taxi to them on demand, see a fare estimator and time of arrival and connect their credit card for easy, hassle free payment. It also means less down time for the captains (drivers) who can optimize their time on the road through customer proximity matching and real time alerts of geographical areas experiencing high demand,” he added.