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Egypt launches new transport company to compete with Uber

July 10, 2019 at 4:57 am

Uber app [Flickr]

Egyptian army yesterday announced the launch of a new local transportation company, dubbed “Dubci Smart Transport,” in an attempt to compete with the United States (US)’s Uber and it’s United Arab Emirates (UAE)-based subsidiary, Careem.

“Dubci is a mobile application that will allow users to book private cars, buses, yachts, helicopters and motorbikes,” the company said in a statement. Dubci pointed out that it was aiming “to carry out one million trips during its first day.”

The ride-hailing company was said to have started an “outdoor ads” campaign spread across the Egyptian capital city of Cairo, as well as the Red Sea coastal cities of Hurghada and Sharm El-Sheikh.

Dubci’s establishment comes in the wake of alleged “ongoing disputes” between the Egyptian intelligence services and Uber over the American company’s refusal to hand over data of its customers.

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Official sources told local media that Dubci’s head of human resources was a former Egyptian armed forces spokesperson, identified as Mohamed Samir, and his wife Iman Abu Talib, was the company’s media adviser.

An official source at Dubci denied recent reports that the army’s national service was owning the company.

Competition among private ride-hailing companies has been increasing in Egypt, however, both Careem and Uber are thought to be dominating the market. In March, Uber acquired Careem in a $3.1 billion deal. The two companies recently launched bus services to compete with local players Swvl and Buseet.

The Egyptian army’s economic and business involvement has been expanding since the incumbent President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi came to power in 2014. Their involvement included the infrastructure, food, electronics, real estate, construction, transportation, and furniture manufacturing sectors.