14 Emiratis get in the driving seat for Careem
At a Press conference in Abu Dhabi on Thursday, Careem presented the new fleet of Emirati drivers "who truly represent national sentiment and a desire to serve the community, and in doing so, present their city in the best way to visitors".
The management said a total of 14 permits have been issued and 30 others are being prepared to join the fleet in the coming weeks. Eight drivers have already hit the roads on February 7.
The online cab hiring platform that operates in 16 countries and 160 cities announced the new initiative last November to hire Emiratis as captains to provide new job opportunities and a flexible and stable income for UAE nationals. The company in collaboration with the Integrated Transport Company (ITC), began an outreach programme targeting UAE nationals, and encouraged eligible Emiratis to apply.
Gheed Al Makkoui, general manager of Careem, UAE, said the company received over a hundred applications from interested Emiratis, and strict criteria was followed in shortlisting the first 30 captains.
"Ahead of qualifying as Careem captains, all applicants go through a screening and background checks. We also provide them with special Careem training that will teach them how to provide a customer-centric experience and the dos and don'ts."
To qualify, captains need to be aged 23 years and above with more than five years of driving experience.
Bassel Al Nahlaoui, managing director of Careem Gulf, said: "It will be a unique experience for tourists or residents to be picked up by an Emirati and get to see the country and experience it from an Emirati perspective."
And the pricing is the same as the public taxis with minimum fares starting at Dh12.
Mohammed Darwish Al Qamzi, general manager of the ITC, said: "This is a major step towards supporting the transport sector in Abu Dhabi and offering new job opportunities for Emiratis who will now benefit from earning an income and serving their community at the same time.