Ride-hailing app Careem withdrawing Oman operations

Careem, the ride-hailing app operating in the Middle East and North Africa and owned by Uber, is withdrawing Oman operations from next month.
Confirming its exit from the Sultanate, the company said, “We need to let you know that from February 3, 2020, we will no longer be running our service in Oman.”
The company added that it decided to discontinue operating in Oman due to the absence of the regulatory factors that provide us with a healthy investment environment.
It may be noted that Careem entered the Oman market in 2017 under agreement with Marhaba Taxi, one of the two licensed taxi companies to operate through the Careem platform.
Speaking to the Observer, Yousuf al Hooti of Marhaba, said that Marhaba Taxi will continue its normal operations as per the licence, which includes Port Sultan Qaboos (PSQ), star hotels and the on-demand services.
“These taxis are expensive compared to other markets and affordable travel is needed to attract more users,” said one of the regular users.
Marhaba is one of the three app-based taxi services operating in Oman, alongside Mwasalat and OTaxi.
Mwasalat is the only company allowed to pick passengers coming into Oman from Muscat International Airport.
According to taxi users, including tourists, fares of on-demand services are on the higher sides.
Marhaba on-demand fares start from RO1.250 during day and RO1.4 at night.
Mwasalat on-demand taxi fares start from RO1 during weekdays and RO1.3 during night.
Comparatively, OTaxi on-demand fares start from 190 baisa/km for the first 30 km and onwards of 100 baisa for every kilometre.