Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, has praised Uber's multi-billion dirham purchase of Careem after meeting with the chief executives of the once rival firms.
Sheikh Maktoum held talks with Dara Khosrowshahi, chief executive officer of Uber, and Careem counterpart Mudassir Sheikha to discuss their vision for the future.
Uber Technologies agreed a $3.1 billion (Dh11.39bn) purchase of the Dubai-based ride-hailing app last month, in a move that will allow it to remain independent.
The deal is the largest technology sector transaction to be carried out in the Middle East, eclipsing Amazon’s $580 million acquisition of Souq in 2017.
During the meeting, the businessmen explained that Careem's employees and 17,000 fleet of limousines will fall under the control of Uber once the agreement is finalised.
Sheikh Maktoum was told that the purchase is expected to be completed before the end of the year.
The Deputy Ruler of Dubai hailed Uber's expansion bid, saying that it reaffirmed Dubai's willingness to provide a home for growing businesses.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, gave his backing to the buyout in the wake of it being announced.
Sheikh Mohamed said it proved the doubters wrong – and showed that big business can "flourish" in Dubai.
He said the groundwork for Dubai's development as a global player in the technology sector was laid 20 years ago, with the formation of a fledgling Dubai Internet City.
"In 1999, many people questioned our idea to establish Dubai Internet City in the desert," said Sheikh Mohammed.
"Two years ago, Amazon acquired the multi-billion dirham Souq and today, Uber acquired Careem for Dh11 billion. "These giant companies flourished from the "desert" of Dubai."