Use­ful Apps for Trans­porta­tion

A Round-up of Taxi-book­ing Apps for Res­i­dents in MENA

Arabnet - The Quarterly - - Content -

A round-up of taxi-book­ing apps be­ing avail­able to MENA res­i­dents

ny­one living in a city would know what a night­mare traf­fic can be. Worse yet, wait­ing for a cab un­der rain or a scorch­ing sun. Us­ing public trans­porta­tion ser­vices might seem like a good so­lu­tion—that is, if your coun­try has a re­li­able in­fra­struc­ture. But even with good met­ros, buses, or even taxis, there are times when you even­tu­ally find your­self stranded, and in des­per­ate need for a ride. Here we round up some of the best rated, free travel apps avail­able for peo­ple in the Mid­dle East.


Head­quar­ters: United States Re­lease date: June 2010

Com­pat­i­ble with: IOS (6.0 and later), An­droid (2.1 and later), Black­berry and Win­dows Phone

Geo­graphic reach: 101 cities, in­clud­ing Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Doha, and Riyadh

Lan­guage: Ara­bic, Dutch, English, French, Ger­man, Ital­ian, Ja­panese, Korean, Malayan, Por­tuguese, Rus­sian, Sim­pli­fied Chi­nese, Chi­nese, Span­ish, Swedish, and Thai Uber is a global on-de­mand car ser­vice that seam­lessly con­nects users to pri­vate driv­ers. Uber doesn’t pro­vide its own ve­hi­cles, but works with ex­ist­ing li­censed driv­ers. Through the smart­phone app, you can choose one of sev­eral grades of cars, send your GPS lo­ca­tion data di­rectly to the driver, track the car’s tra­jec­tory as it drives your way, and pay via Paypal or a credit/debit card di­rectly from your phone. A re­ceipt will be sent to your in­box once you ar­rive to your des­ti­na­tion.

CA­REEM Head­quar­ters: UAE Re­lease date: Fe­bru­ary 2013

Com­pat­i­ble with: IOS (6.0 and later), An­droid (4.0 and later), Win­dows Phone and Black­berry

Geo­graphic reach: Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Doha, Jed­dah, Riyadh, and Dam­mam

Lan­guage: Ara­bic and English

Ca­reem is a lo­cal, pri­vate car book­ing ser­vice whose value propo­si­tion com­petes head-to-head with Uber. Sim­i­lar to its com­peti­tor, Ca­reem only works with ex­ist­ing li­censed driv­ers and cars. You can or­der a car on­line or us­ing the mo­bile app. When you open the app, it au­to­mat­i­cally lo­cates your po­si­tion through its un­der­ly­ing GPS tech­nol­ogy, then asks you to spec­ify your des­ti­na­tion. The app cal­cu­lates the price of your ride, which you pay with your credit card, tracks the car in real-time, and gives you ac­cess to your re­ceipts on­line. Un­like Uber, Ca­reem also al­lows large cor­po­rates to sign up all their staff and pay through monthly in­voices.

EASY TAXI Head­quar­ters: Brazil Re­lease date: April 2012 Com­pat­i­ble with: IOS (5.0 and later), An­droid (2.0 and later), Win­dows Phone and Black­berry Geo­graphic reach: 158 cities, in­clud­ing Shar­jah, Aj­man, Al Ain, Riyadh, Cairo, and Alexan­dria Lan­guage: English

Easy Taxi, ac­quired and man­aged by Rocket In­ter­net, is the largest taxi-book­ing app in the world, con­nect­ing pas­sen­gers with an ex­ist­ing net­work of over 80,000 taxi driv­ers in more than 31 coun­tries. The app’s in­tel­li­gent bid­ding and GPS sys­tems pri­or­i­tize taxi driv­ers near­est to your lo­ca­tion and send you their in­for­ma­tion, although book­ing a cab is not as seam­less as you would hope for in some cities. Easy Taxi also has spe­cial ser­vices for B2B clients through Easy Taxi Pro and Easy Taxi Cor­po­rate so­lu­tions.

OGRA TAXI Head­quar­ters: Egypt Re­lease date: De­cem­ber 2013 Com­pat­i­ble with: An­droid Geo­graphic reach: Cairo, soon in the King­dom of Saudi Ara­bia Lan­guage: English

Ogra Taxi, a taxi-order­ing app, is Easy Taxi’s lo­cal com­peti­tor in Egypt. Through the app, you can book a taxi, get in­for­ma­tion about the driver and the car com­ing to pick you up, and track it as it drives to­wards you. You are charged us­ing pre­mium SMS. Some users com­plain that their or­ders ei­ther don’t get through or take more time than ex­pected, but this is un­der­stand­able, be­ing a ser­vice that re­cently launched in one of the busiest, most pop­u­lated cities in the MENA re­gion. It is cur­rently work­ing on ver­sions for IOS, Black­berry, and Win­dows


Head­quar­ters: Ro­ma­nia Re­lease date: Oc­to­ber 2012

Com­pat­i­ble with: IOS (6.0 and later), An­droid (2.3.2 and later), Win­dows Phone and Black­berry

Geo­graphic reach: data­base of 20,000+ taxi com­pa­nies Lan­guage: English and Ro­ma­nia It’s true that Clever Taxi is only func­tional in seven Eastern Euro­pean cities, but it is in this list be­cause it has the most com­pre­hen­sive data­base of taxi com­pa­nies from around 267 coun­tries, cov­er­ing most of the MENA re­gion. It gives you the names of the near­est cab, as well as cabs in other cities around you, with their phone num­ber. For peo­ple living in cities still lack­ing a re­li­able trans­port app, Clever Taxi will surely come in handy.

DUBAI’S ROAD AND TRANS­PORT AUTHOR­ITY Head­quar­ters: United Arab Emi­rates Re­lease date: March 2011 Com­pat­i­ble with: IOS (6.0 and later), An­droid (2.3.2 and later), Win­dows Phone and Black­berry Geo­graphic reach: Dubai Lan­guage: English

Dubai’s Road and Trans­port Author­ity has re­leased its own smart book­ing app for its yel­low cabs in hopes to bet­ter man­age its fleet of 8,300 taxis. Be­sides book­ing a taxi, the app al­lows m-park­ing ser­vice pay­ment, cal­cu­lates fares be­tween metro des­ti­na­tions, shows your NOL bal­ance, and gives you ac­cess to marine trans­porta­tion ser­vices, such as wa­ter buses, wa­ter taxis and Ferry Dubai. It also al­lows you to ap­ply for car park­ing per­mis­sions. The app, how­ever, is not so swift when pro­vid­ing you with in­for­ma­tion on the near­est metro or bus sta­tion.


Head­quar­ters: United Arab Emi­rates Re­lease date: Jan­uary 2014

Com­pat­i­ble with: IOS (6.0 and later), An­droid (2.2 and later) and Black­berry

Geo­graphic reach: Dubai Lan­guage: English Dubai Taxi Cor­po­ra­tion, part of RTA Dubai, has also re­cently re­leased an app to en­able users to ac­cess its main ser­vices, such as book­ing a taxi, cal­cu­lat­ing fares, track­ing the car, and get­ting up­dates about DTC’S lat­est news. The app also has a data­base of ma­jor lo­ca­tions in the city. The app also ad­dresses the needs of peo­ple with au­di­tory dis­abil­i­ties and pro­vides var­i­ous deaf sig­nals to fa­cil­i­tate their com­mu­ni­cat­ing with the driver. Be­ing re­cently launched, it still has some bugs to fix.

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