Talabat to raise pay for delivery riders in UAE

Increase of Dh1 for every 5km will partially help to offset rising fuel prices

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Talabat has increased payments for its food delivery riders.

The food delivery company, one of the largest operators in the region, has increased the amount riders are paid per delivery to an extra Dh1 per five-kilometres travelled. This is on top of the Dh7.50 per order they get.

In May, operations were disrupted for a time as some riders refused to make deliveries. Deliveroo faced similar action over its plan to cut wages.

Talabat, which uses third-party rider agencies, said it has been in discussions over pay in recent months.

The recently updated earning structure as well as summer initiatives were positively received by riders
Tatiana Rahal, Talabat UAE

Riders said at the time that rising petrol prices were a factor in dwindling earnings.

On social media, riders said they needed at least Dh10 an order to get by.

“Regular re-evaluations take place throughout the year and the recently updated earning structure as well as summer initiatives were positively received by riders,” said Tatiana Rahal, managing director at Talabat UAE.

“Our riders continue to be heard and we encourage them to share their feedback with us through multiple dedicated channels.”

Talabat is the Middle East delivery unit of German multinational Delivery Hero and has operations across the Middle East.

A further measure is that riders will now receive earnings twice a month from their employers, rather than once a month, and retain 100 per cent of tips.

Fuel prices in the UAE have increased by more than 70 per cent since the start of the year, rising from Dh2.65 for a litre of Super 98 to Dh4.63 in July.

Delivery drivers were widely praised for keeping food and goods deliveries moving during Dubai's month-long lockdown in April 2020

Riders must pay for their own fuel and motorcycle maintenance costs, with the soaring global cost of crude oil leaving a heavy dent in their profits.

One rider from Pakistan, 22, who has been working for three years but did not want to give his name, said his average monthly earnings had fallen from about Dh3,000 to Dh2,500.

“My bike takes about 14 litres of fuel, so it now costs around Dh65 to fill up, when last year it was about Dh35,” he said.

“We have to pay for this ourselves, so it is much more expensive now for us to do our jobs.

“There is a lot of pressure on us, and fuel is a big expense.”

The delivery rider, who broke his leg in an accident in Barsha last year, said he needed to make 12 drops a day to cover living expenses.

After six hours on Wednesday, he had completed only one delivery in Dubai due to the quieter summer period.

To help riders cope with the intense summer heat, talabat introduced cooling vests, towels and 21 air-conditioned buses at rest stops across the country to offer shelter from the sun.

Shaded areas with cooling mist fans have also been set up outside food collection areas and kitchens.

There are about 63,000 registered motorcycle delivery riders in the UAE.

A trial of electric bikes by talabat got under way on July 4, to test a more economical and safer alternative to petrol motorcycles.

“Our recent collaboration with MotoBoy to pilot electric bikes is a first step in exploring environment-friendly alternative modes of delivery,” said Ms Rahal.

“This is one of many solutions we are looking to introduce across our operations, as the UAE continues to see a surge in demand for convenience and reliance on delivery.

“Sustainability is playing an increasingly important role in our vision across the board, through reducing environmental impact by driving positive change or ensuring riders continue to rely on our platform to have a stable “sustainable” source of income.”

Updated: July 27, 2022, 9:35 AM