Careem unites with more stores in Dubai; Eyes online service expansion

By Ashika Rajan, Trainee Reporter
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Dubai-based ride-hailing company Careem is partnering with a number of stores in the region as it aims to expand its online retail services.

The company, which was acquired by US ride-hailing company Uber last year, is expected to partner with retailers such as Al Maya, Aswaaq, Grandiose, Lulu Hypermarket, and Emirates Co-op, among others.

It’s also collaborating with Nestle’s coffee capsule system Nescafe Dulce Gusto, Ikea, The PetShop, The Butcher Shop & Grill, and several pharmacies throughout the Emirate.

Mr. Bassel Al Nahlaoui, Managing Director, mobility at Careem UAE remarked that “as part of our continued promise to simplify everyday life, Shops will provide a wider range of offerings and more merchants, ensuring our customers’ needs are answered in a timely and efficient manner.”

Online shopping became more popular after governments around the world imposed movement restrictions to curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to research by Bain & Company and Google, eCommerce sales in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region are expected to triple to $28.5 billion next year from $8.3 billion in 2017.

However, the online retail delivery market is becoming more crowded as incumbents like Instashop experiencing competition from eCommerce sites like Amazon and noon, which offer huge discounts to attract more customers.

The ride-hailing company has been broadening its services since introducing a ‘Super App’ in April last year offering a range of complementary services including bike rentals, food, and grocery delivery, and digital payments.

Careem, founded in July 2012 now operates in over 100 cities across 13 countries. Uber bought the company for a $3.1 billion deal that closed in January last year.

Related: UAE-based grocery retail firm Grandiose opens new hypermarket in Abu Dhabi