From September, when you log onto your Careem app in Dubai there will be a new option – Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) taxi, which they’re calling ‘The most affordable ride in Dubai.’
You’ll need to choose the ‘Hala’ pilot option when hailing your ride.
The Hala service began small scale trials in May, with about 2,000 vehicles. Over the test period the RTA rides received no less than four-stars out of five; arriving, on average, only four and a half minutes after being hailed. It’s hoped to get this response time down to just three minutes by the official launch in September.
Matar Al Tayer, director general of the RTA, said Hala would also allow riders access to many of the features Careem customers enjoy, like seeing car and driver information, rating the service, making payment online and sharing details of your trip with others.
App users will also have more choice of cars, from luxury Lexus or cut-price Camry, and the added transparency of being able to see estimated journey cost on the app.
There are benefits to the drivers too; the main one being less downtime ‘seeking out the next fare.’
There was no mention of ‘Uber’ during the brand unveiling; the company that acquired Careem with a 3.1 billion US dollars bid earlier this year. But as the global ride-hailing service said at the time in a message to its registered users in the region “both Uber and Careem will continue to operate as independent apps.”
The full official roll-out will happen at some point this September, but there are is a limited Hala service available now as part of the trial period, and we’re ‘hala’ happy about that.
Download the Careem app at www.careem.com