Uber confirmed to Al-Monitor on Friday the details of its expansion in the Middle East encompassing three countries
Earlier this week, there were reports in Gulf media that Uber Travel had launched in Saudi Arabia and Egypt. An Uber spokesperson told Al-Monitor that Uber Travel is now available in Saudi Arabia, Egypt as well as the United Arab Emirates. The program is not available in any other Middle Eastern countries.
Uber Travel is also available in South Africa but does not work in any other African countries at present, according to the spokesman.
What it means: Uber Travel is a service that allows users to view their travel plans, such as flight information, in the Uber mobile app. It works by linking to users’ Gmail accounts, according to Uber’s website.
Why it matters: Uber’s regular ride-hailing service is available throughout the Middle East. As of January 2023, Uber is available in the following countries:
- Saudi Arabia
- United Arab Emirates
Uber is not available in every part of these countries. For example, in Jordan, Uber only works in the capital Amman.
Uber Travel’s launch in Saudi Arabia follows the Saudi Public Investment Fund unveiling a $1.5 billion investment in Uber in August.
Uber faces significant competition in the region. The Estonian ride-sharing service Bolt, for example, is widely used in Tunisia and last December announced expansion plans for Israel. Some competitor ride-hailing companies have popped up in Egypt in particular, Marc Espanol reported for Al-Monitor last year.
In 2020, Uber purchased competitor Careem. The company still operates in Iraq, Morocco, Kuwait and several other countries.
Know more: Uber also signed an agreement with Dubai Airports this month to increase capacity at pickup zones, several Gulf media outlets reported.