Luxury chauffeur service free for a week

Uber launched in Abu Dhabi six months ago and has attracted more than 1,000 customers. From Wednesday to Tuesday any new or existing customers will get 20 free rides each up to the value of Dh150.

DUBAI // A luxury chauffeur service that allows customers to book cars using a smartphone app is going “free” in the capital for a week.

Uber, launched in Abu Dhabi six months ago, has attracted more than 1,000 customers. From Wednesday until Tuesday any new or existing customers will get 20 free rides, each up to the value of Dh150.

“If the customer has a journey that is Dh80 then it will be free,” said Sebastien Wakim, director general for Uber in Abu Dhabi. “But a journey from Abu Dhabi to Dubai for example is usually around Dh330.

“It means customers will only have to pay Dh180 under the offer and that’s still cheaper than using a normal taxi.”

The offer applies to Uber’s “black” limousines service that has a fleet of Lexus, BMWs, and Audis.

The company was also considering a similar offer for its Dubai customers, but no plans have yet been finalised.

To take advantage of the service new customers must first download the Uber smartphone app from iTunes or Google Play.

They should then use the promotion code: UberLovesAD.

All trips must originate in Abu Dhabi but can then go to any destination.

“The growth we have seen has met our expectations and we are looking to add even more cars to our service,” said Mr Wakim.

The service first launched in the UAE in Dubai in September.

It is now in 35 cities in 17 countries but it has attracted controversy with some transport regulators in the United States and Canada claiming the company was operating an unlicensed taxi and limousine service.

However, the company said it does not own the cars it uses, only the app service which puts drivers in contact with customers.

nhanif@thenational.ae

Published: May 13, 2014 04:00 AM

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