DUBAI , UNITED ARAB EMIRATES , DEC 19  – 2017 :- One of the employee showing the Careem taxi app at the Careem’s office at Dubai Media City in Dubai.  (Pawan Singh / The National) Story by Caline
DUBAI , UNITED ARAB EMIRATES , DEC 19 – 2017 :- One of the employee showing the Careem taxi app at the Careem’s office at Dubai Media City in Dubai. (Pawan Singh / The National) Story by Caline

Careem launches ride-hailing services in Baghdad



Careem on Monday launched its services in Baghdad, even as questions remain over security conditions in the Iraqi capital.

The ride-sharing company, whose investors include Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal and German car-maker Daimler, said it plans to expand into more cities across Iraq in the near future, without giving further details.

“Through our presence on the ground, we hope to contribute to the rebuilding of Iraq to its former status as one of the leading nations in the Middle East," said Mudassir Sheikha, the co-founder and chief executive of Careem. "Iraq is a country with rich heritage and strategic importance for the region."

But the launch coincided with a double suicide bombing in Tayaran Square in the city centre, a stark reminder of the threat from ISIL to businesses and civilians in the city, even though the pace of such attacks has slowed since the government declared last month it had retaken all territory from the group.

“Iraqi forces have done a good job in recent months of recapturing lands held by Islamic State throughout the country,” said Joel Gulhane, a Middle East analyst at The Risk Advisory Group in London.

“But Monday’s bombing shows the threat from [ISIL] is still present regardless of whether or not they hold territory in the country and that civilians are still targeted.”

“Despite government efforts, Baghdad does continue to be a highly insecure environment for businesses to operate in. The frequency of suicide and car bombings fell in 2017 to less than four a month on average, compared with more than five a month in 2016. Smaller bombings also continue to occur almost every other day, contributing to the uncertain security environment in the capital.”

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Mr Sheikha said the company was fully aware of the security and other challenges that faced it in the country.

"We are determined to overcome local challenges so that we can simplify mobility for Iraqis and create income-generating opportunities for them and their families," he said.

Careem now operates in over 90 cities across more than 13 countries in the wider Middle East region. The firm has more than 15 million users and 500,000 drivers or "captains."

The company, founded in 2012, is one of the most prominent start-ups in the Middle East, becoming the region's first tech unicorn in late-2016 after a US$350 million funding round led by Japan's Rakuten and Saudi Telecom valued the company at $1 billion.

Careem in August agreed a partnership deal with Didi Chuxing, China's largest ride-hailing firm, including an undisclosed investment component.

The company is looking to deepen its penetration in key markets including Egypt, Pakistan and Turkey in 2018, and is considering entering new markets including East African countries such as Kenya and Uganda.

KEY DATES IN AMAZON'S HISTORY

July 5, 1994: Jeff Bezos founds Cadabra Inc, which would later be renamed to Amazon.com, because his lawyer misheard the name as 'cadaver'. In its earliest days, the bookstore operated out of a rented garage in Bellevue, Washington

July 16, 1995: Amazon formally opens as an online bookseller. Fluid Concepts and Creative Analogies: Computer Models of the Fundamental Mechanisms of Thought becomes the first item sold on Amazon

1997: Amazon goes public at $18 a share, which has grown about 1,000 per cent at present. Its highest closing price was $197.85 on June 27, 2024

1998: Amazon acquires IMDb, its first major acquisition. It also starts selling CDs and DVDs

2000: Amazon Marketplace opens, allowing people to sell items on the website

2002: Amazon forms what would become Amazon Web Services, opening the Amazon.com platform to all developers. The cloud unit would follow in 2006

2003: Amazon turns in an annual profit of $75 million, the first time it ended a year in the black

2005: Amazon Prime is introduced, its first-ever subscription service that offered US customers free two-day shipping for $79 a year

2006: Amazon Unbox is unveiled, the company's video service that would later morph into Amazon Instant Video and, ultimately, Amazon Video

2007: Amazon's first hardware product, the Kindle e-reader, is introduced; the Fire TV and Fire Phone would come in 2014. Grocery service Amazon Fresh is also started

2009: Amazon introduces Amazon Basics, its in-house label for a variety of products

2010: The foundations for Amazon Studios were laid. Its first original streaming content debuted in 2013

2011: The Amazon Appstore for Google's Android is launched. It is still unavailable on Apple's iOS

2014: The Amazon Echo is launched, a speaker that acts as a personal digital assistant powered by Alexa

2017: Amazon acquires Whole Foods for $13.7 billion, its biggest acquisition

2018: Amazon's market cap briefly crosses the $1 trillion mark, making it, at the time, only the third company to achieve that milestone

ROUTE TO TITLE

Round 1: Beat Leolia Jeanjean 6-1, 6-2
Round 2: Beat Naomi Osaka 7-6, 1-6, 7-5
Round 3: Beat Marie Bouzkova 6-4, 6-2
Round 4: Beat Anastasia Potapova 6-0, 6-0
Quarter-final: Beat Marketa Vondrousova 6-0, 6-2
Semi-final: Beat Coco Gauff 6-2, 6-4
Final: Beat Jasmine Paolini 6-2, 6-2

SPEC SHEET: SAMSUNG GALAXY S24 ULTRA

Display: 6.8" quad-HD+ dynamic Amoled 2X, 3120 x 1440, 505ppi, HDR10+, 120Hz

Processor: 4nm Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3, 64-bit octa-core

Memory: 12GB RAM

Storage: 256/512GB / 1TB

Platform: Android 14, One UI 6.1

Main camera: quad 200MP wide f/1.7 + 50MP periscope telephoto f/3.4 with 5x optical/10x optical quality zoom + 10MP telephoto 2.4 with 3x optical zoom + 12MP ultra-wide f/2.2; 100x Space Zoom; auto HDR, expert RAW

Video: 8K@24/30fps, 4K@30/60/120fps, full-HD@30/60/240fps, full-HD super slo-mo@960fps

Front camera: 12MP f/2.2

Battery: 5000mAh, fast wireless charging 2.0, Wireless PowerShare

Connectivity: 5G, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.3, NFC

I/O: USB-C; built-in Galaxy S Pen

Durability: IP68, up to 1.5m of freshwater up to 30 minutes; dust-resistant

SIM: Nano + nano / nano + eSIM / dual eSIM (varies in different markets)

Colours: Titanium black, titanium grey, titanium violet, titanium yellow

In the box: Galaxy S24 Ultra, USB-C-to-C cable

Price: Dh5,099 for 256GB, Dh5,599 for 512GB, Dh6,599 for 1TB

Herc's Adventures

Developer: Big Ape Productions
Publisher: LucasArts
Console: PlayStation 1 & 5, Sega Saturn
Rating: 4/5

Results

2pm: Maiden (TB) Dh60,000 (Dirt) 1,200m, Winner: Mouheeb, Tom Marquand (jockey), Nicholas Bachalard (trainer)

2.30pm: Handicap (TB) Dh68,000 (D) 1,200m, Winner: Honourable Justice, Royston Ffrench, Salem bin Ghadayer

3pm: Handicap (TB) Dh84,000 (D) 1,200m, Winner: Dahawi, Antonio Fresu, Musabah Al Muhairi

3.30pm: Conditions (TB) Dh100,000 (D) 1,200m, Winner: Dark Silver, Fernando Jara, Ahmad bin Harmash

4pm: Maiden (TB) Dh60,000 (D) 1,600m, Winner: Dark Of Night. Antonio Fresu, Al Muhairi.

4.30pm: Handicap (TB) Dh68,000 (D) 1,600m, Winner: Habah, Pat Dobbs, Doug Watson

COMPANY PROFILE

Name: Xpanceo

Started: 2018

Founders: Roman Axelrod, Valentyn Volkov

Based: Dubai, UAE

Industry: Smart contact lenses, augmented/virtual reality

Funding: $40 million

Investor: Opportunity Venture (Asia)

The specs: Taycan Turbo GT

Engine: Dual synchronous electric motors
Power: 1,108hp
Torque: 1,340Nm
Transmission: Single-speed automatic (front axle); two-speed transmission (rear axle)
Touring range: 488-560km
Price: From Dh928,400
On sale: Orders open

Champions League Last 16

Red Bull Salzburg (AUT) v Bayern Munich (GER)

Sporting Lisbon (POR) v Manchester City (ENG)

Benfica (POR) v Ajax (NED)

Chelsea (ENG) v Lille (FRA)

Atletico Madrid (ESP) v Manchester United (ENG)

Villarreal (ESP) v Juventus (ITA)

Inter Milan (ITA) v Liverpool (ENG)

Paris Saint-Germain v Real Madrid (ESP)

Result

UAE (S. Tagliabue 90+1') 1-2 Uzbekistan (Shokhruz Norkhonov 48', 86')

In numbers

1,000 tonnes of waste collected daily:

  • 800 tonnes converted into alternative fuel
  • 150 tonnes to landfill
  • 50 tonnes sold as scrap metal

800 tonnes of RDF replaces 500 tonnes of coal

Two conveyor lines treat more than 350,000 tonnes of waste per year

25 staff on site

 

THE SPECS

Range Rover Sport Autobiography Dynamic

Engine: 5.0-litre supercharged V8

Transmission: six-speed manual

Power: 518bhp

Torque: 625Nm

Speed: 0-100kmh 5.3 seconds

Price: Dh633,435

On sale: now

COMPANY PROFILE

Company: Eco Way
Started: December 2023
Founder: Ivan Kroshnyi
Based: Dubai, UAE
Industry: Electric vehicles
Investors: Bootstrapped with undisclosed funding. Looking to raise funds from outside

Iftar programme at the Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding

Established in 1998, the Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding was created with a vision to teach residents about the traditions and customs of the UAE. Its motto is ‘open doors, open minds’. All year-round, visitors can sign up for a traditional Emirati breakfast, lunch or dinner meal, as well as a range of walking tours, including ones to sites such as the Jumeirah Mosque or Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood.

Every year during Ramadan, an iftar programme is rolled out. This allows guests to break their fast with the centre’s presenters, visit a nearby mosque and observe their guides while they pray. These events last for about two hours and are open to the public, or can be booked for a private event.

Until the end of Ramadan, the iftar events take place from 7pm until 9pm, from Saturday to Thursday. Advanced booking is required.

For more details, email openminds@cultures.ae or visit www.cultures.ae

 

Russia's Muslim Heartlands

Dominic Rubin, Oxford

SPECS

Toyota land Cruiser 2020 5.7L VXR

Engine: 5.7-litre V8

Transmission: eight-speed automatic

Power: 362hp

Torque: 530Nm

Price: Dh329,000 (base model 4.0L EXR Dh215,900)