Careem partners with more stores in Dubai as it expands its online service

The company ties up with 140 stores across the emirate from supermarkets to pharmacies

A customer looks at different services on the Careem app. Image courtesy of Careem
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Ride-hailing company Careem is partnering with a number of stores in Dubai as it aims to expand its online retail services.

The company, which was acquired by Uber last year, will be partnering with retail outlets including Al Maya, Aswaaq, Grandiose, Lulu Hypermarket and Emirates Co-op, among others, Careem said in a statement on Monday.

It is also tying up with Nescafe Dulce Gusto, Ikea, The PetShop, The Butcher Shop & Grill, as well as a number of pharmacies across the emirate.

“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,” Bassel Al Nahlaoui, managing director, mobility at Careem UAE, said.

Online shopping became more popular after governments around the world introduced movement restrictions to stop the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.

E-commerce sales in the Mena region are set to triple to $28.5 billion next year from $8.3bn in 2017, according to research by Bain & Company and Google.

However, the online retail delivery market is becoming more crowded as incumbents such as Instashop are facing challenges from e-commerce platforms Amazon and noon that offer steep discounts to attract more consumers.

The ride hailing company has been broadening its services since launching a 'Super App' in April last year offering a range of complementary services including bike rentals, food and grocery delivery and digital payments. It introduced a Dh39 per month subscription tier for the app in April this year.

Established in July 2012, Careem operates in more than 100 cities in 13 countries. The company was bought by US ride-hailing company Uber in a $3.1bn deal that closed in January last year.