Uber quits Pakistani market due to local competition

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After nearly eight years of operating in Pakistan, the ride-hailing giant Uber has decided to exit the country’s online transportation market, making way for its subsidiary, Careem, to take the lead, according to a statement issued on Tuesday.

This move was widely anticipated, especially after Uber’s acquisition of Dubai-based Careem in 2019 for $3.1 billion. The decision to withdraw the Uber app from Pakistan was confirmed by a company spokesperson, who emphasized that Careem will continue providing ride-hailing services and earning opportunities for drivers across Pakistan.

Uber first launched its operations in Pakistan in early 2016, establishing itself as a pioneer in the country’s online transportation sector. Following the acquisition of Careem, Uber had initially pledged to maintain both brands in the Pakistani market. However, in October 2022, Uber ceased operations in five major cities, retaining only Lahore.

Uber quits Pakistani market
Uber quits Pakistani market

Meanwhile, Careem has expanded its presence and is now available in 10 key cities across Pakistan, including Karachi, Islamabad, Lahore, Peshawar, Multan, Faisalabad, Abbottabad, Gujranwala, Sialkot, and Quetta.

The spokesperson explained that this decision aligns with Uber’s global growth strategy, focusing on markets where sustainable growth opportunities exist. Drivers previously using the Uber app now have the option to transition to Careem Rides and continue operating their transportation businesses independently.

Uber users in Pakistan received an email notification on Tuesday, informing them of the decision to discontinue Uber app services in Lahore as of April 30. The email also mentioned that Careem Rides may reach out to users to facilitate the transition. Users holding Uber Cash balances will receive further instructions on reclaiming their balances.

This strategic shift reflects the evolving dynamics of Pakistan’s ride-hailing market, where local competitors offering competitive rates and innovative services have impacted the dominance of Careem and Uber. Despite Uber’s departure, Careem remains committed to providing reliable ride-hailing services and supporting drivers throughout Pakistan.

 

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