Careem Business Model: A Closer Look At UAE Ride-Hailing Success

  • Vinay Jain
  • October 10, 2023
Careem Business Model: A Closer Look at UAE Ride-Hailing Success

Careem Business Model: A Closer Look At UAE Ride-Hailing Success

In the Middle East, Careem is a top app that offers a variety of services, including meals, groceries, and online payments in addition to taxis. Are you a startup prepared to develop comparable software to draw users from many industries? To do that, you must comprehend the Careem business model, revenue sources, and the app's operation.

Have you ever heard of a mobile app that offers a variety of services under one roof? Another such app is Careem. Mudassir Sheikha and Magnus Olsson founded the business in 2012 as a website-based solution for corporate automobile reservations.With a headquarters in Dubai, this app has completed more than 1 million rides successfully.
More than 2.5 million captains have downloaded the app under this well-known name in the Middle East. These figures demonstrate that Careem is among the top problem-solving apps for the target market of those who want to commute between locations.

But what in Careem's business strategy accounts for its great success? What are its sources of income and how does Careem operate?

Take a closer look at the successful business model of Careem, a prominent ride-hailing service in the UAE. Our blog post provides insights into the strategies and factors contributing to Careem's success in the competitive ride-hailing market of the United Arab Emirates. Explore how Careem has become a leading player in the region.

Careem App Quick History

Let's take a look at Careem's history before we get into the specifics of how it developed into a popular app. A website-based service that was created to allow businesses to book cabs now offers all essential services, including food delivery, shopping, and pharmacy delivery, as well as online payments.

The Growth of the Careem Brand

In 2012, Careem was established in Dubai as a website-based service for hiring business vehicles.

  • In 2013, Careem released its first mobile application and extended it to Saudi Arabia and Riyadh.
  • Careem added Cairo, Egypt to their service in 2014 and raised $6 million in Series A funding.
  • In 2015, Careem extended to six additional Middle Eastern and North African cities.
  • The business introduced the food delivery service Careem Now.
  • In 2016, Careem entered Pakistan and Turkey. It introduced the online payment system Careem Pay.
  • Across 2017 Careem extended to 10 additional cities across South Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. It introduced Careem Chauffeur, a platform that enables users to reserve a private driver.
  • In 2018, 15 additional cities throughout the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia now have Careem service.
  • In 2019, Careem added 20 more cities in the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia to its coverage area. Uber paid $3.1 billion to buy it.
  • In 2020, Careem introduced the Careem Trips service, which enables users to schedule rides with Uber drivers.
  • 25 more cities across the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia became Careem service areas in 2021.
  • Careem's reach in the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia increased by 30 cities in 2022.

Careem is the ultimate app. Want to pay bills online or make a ride reservation? Want to buy food and groceries online instead? The Careem app makes anything conceivable. The Careem business strategy aims to provide clients with complete control over a single platform, giving them speedy fixes for all of their issues. You require more than just a customer-facing app to operate a successful taxi company. A look at each component of a taxi booking app suite is provided below.

Customer App

The customer app, arguably the most crucial for any taxi company, affects whether a potential customer makes a reservation with you. The cab booking procedure should be straightforward to understand, and the user interface should be visually appealing. The simplicity of payment is another crucial element of the client app. There should be a variety of payment alternatives available to the customer, and the payment gateway should be secure. In terms of workflow, a consumer can use your taxi booking app as follows:

  • Using their email address or phone number, log into the app.
  • Put the pickup and dropoff location here.
  • Confirm the request, then wait for the app to find the closest driver.
  • The consumer can examine the car and driver information as well as the anticipated arrival time once the reservation is confirmed.
  • After finishing the ride, the passenger can pay using the method of their choice and comment on the experience.

Also Read: How To Become A Successful Taxi Booking Company In Nigeria

Driver App

Without an excellent driver app, no app-based taxi service can run. Driver apps give drivers access to real-time ride requests, completion confirmations, daily revenue totals, and, most significantly, turn-by-turn directions to the right pick-up and drop-off locations. You need to make an app that caters to the demands of both your clients and drivers when starting an app-based taxi business. A driver app's workflow is described in the following detail:

  • Drivers will begin accepting ride requests in real time once the app's authentication procedure is complete.
  • If they approve a request, they will obtain the client's information and the pickup location.
  • After that, the driver can utilize the built-in navigation system to get to the pickup location.
  • The driver can begin the ride via the app as soon as the passenger boards the vehicle.
  • If the consumer chooses to pay in cash after the ride is completed, the driver can collect payment and finish the ride on the app.
  • Additionally, drivers have the choice to rate each passenger following a journey.

Admin Panel

The admin or dispatch dashboard is the third and last part of the taxi business app suite. You need a dashboard from which you can manage every facet of daily operations if you want to run your taxi service efficiently. You can accomplish everything using the dashboard, from dispatching drivers based on their availability and location to tracking every car and driver in real time. You can keep an eye on your company's performance using the admin dashboard, and you can search for areas that require improvement right away. On the admin dashboard, you can also carry out the following significant tasks:

  • In a single dashboard, manage ride requests and see all pending and completed requests.
  • To improve your services, keep trip data and evaluate it.
  • Respond to consumer questions using the dashboard.
  • Offering dynamic pricing during times of high demand and optimizing the dispatch, send real-time notifications to your clients and drivers to keep them informed.

Careem Revenue Streams- How it Makes Money?

Due to the low level of credit card adoption in the Middle East, Careem developed a new business model that combined a variety of payment options. Careem offers customers four payment options: cash, credit, invoice, and credit in wallet. The captains and Careem are crucial to the opposing side of the narrative.Careem modified its operational paradigm, and it was a complete success.

  • Careem pays the captain for B2B bookings on the invoice and B2C bookings on the credit card.
  • Careem is paid by captains for B2C cash reservations.

Did you realize that the majority of Careem reservations are now reservations made in cash? Captains are required to pay Careem when passengers want to pay with cash. Careem must pay Captains when customers pick different payment options.When paying with credit, Careem receives a certain portion of each trip fare; the Captains receive the remaining amount. Now, Careem would want that cash as well, wouldn't he, if individuals chose to provide cash after the ride is over. Until the captain re-shares the last fare, Careem prevents the captain from taking a trip. When captains exceed the Careem-imposed cash-blocking cap, this occurs.

Want to Build an App Like Careem?

To create a fantastic app like Careem, the correct technology and personnel are required. With years of experience and thousands of satisfied customers worldwide, Grepix Infotech is a pioneering on-demand taxi app development company. Get your own Careem-like app in a matter of days, fully customized with the functionality your business requires. With a super app, dominate the restaurant, grocery, taxi, and online payment markets.


Careem's journey from a corporate vehicle reservation website to becoming the versatile, multi-service app it is today exemplifies the power of adaptability and innovation in the business world. Their expansion across the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia, along with strategic offerings such as food delivery and online payments, has solidified their position as a market leader.

Careem's business strategy revolves around providing a comprehensive platform that caters to the diverse needs of its users. They have successfully developed and managed three key components: the Customer App, the Driver App, and the Admin Panel, ensuring a seamless and efficient experience for both passengers and drivers.

Moreover, Careem's revenue streams reflect their understanding of the unique payment landscape in the Middle East. By offering various payment options, they have addressed the challenges posed by low credit card adoption rates, ensuring their profitability while accommodating customer preferences.

If you're considering building a similar app like Careem, it's essential to invest in the right technology and expertise. Firms like Grepix Infotech can assist you in creating a customized careem clone tailored to your business needs, allowing you to compete effectively in the ride-hailing and multi-service market. As Careem continues to expand its reach and offerings, the success story of this Middle Eastern giant serves as an inspiration for startups and businesses looking to make their mark in the ever-evolving world of technology and mobility.

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