Uber Eats to cease operating in the UAE, instead joining forces with Careem's food delivery arm

From Monday, May 18, you will no longer be able to order through Uber Eats in the UAE

DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES , April 11 – 2020 :- One of the Uber Eats delivery guy collecting order from ENOC gas station in Dubai. Dubai is conducting 24 hours sterilisation programme across all areas and communities in the Emirate and told residents to stay at home. UAE government told residents to wear face mask and gloves all the times outside the home whether they are showing symptoms of Covid-19 or not. (Pawan Singh/The National) For News/Online/Instagram/Standalone

Food delivery service Uber Eats has announced it will no longer operate in the UAE.

Instead, Uber says it will join forces with Careem's food delivery service, after it acquired the company in a $3.1 billion (Dh11.3 billion) deal in 2019.

Announcing the news on Monday, a spokesperson for Uber Eats Mena said, “We’ve made the tough but necessary decision to close the Uber Eats app in UAE, and join forces with Careem’s food delivery service.

“In Egypt and Saudi Arabia, we will be discontinuing Uber Eats. This decision will also allow us to commit further energy and resources on our top Eats markets around the world.”

An Uber Eats food delivery courier's backpack is seen in from of a fast food restaurant as the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues in Amsterdam, Netherlands March 25, 2020. REUTERS/Eva Plevier

Uber says the decision was made after taking a “hard look” at the metrics in what has been a competitive food delivery market in the UAE.

Uber Eats first launched in the UAE in 2017, and was quickly followed by Careem’s food delivery option, Careem Now, in 2018.

But a year after Uber’s Careem takeover, the company says food delivery is a “core part” of Careem’s new “super app”, and the decision to join forces will help accelerate Careem’s plans to become a “one-stop shop” for its customer’s daily needs.

Uber says it plans to minimise the impact the closure will have on its employees and restaurant partners in the region, and thanked its customers for their ongoing support.

In an email sent to Uber Eats users, the company said it would no longer be accepting orders from Monday, May 18. It added that customers’ log in details would be transferred across to Careem Now and an account would be automatically created for them.

Uber’s ride function in the UAE will not be affected, and Uber customers will still be able to use Uber Eats when travelling outside of the region. The spokesperson added, “Looking ahead, Uber remains committed to growing and investing in Uber’s mobility platform in UAE and the Middle East.”