I’m going to start this by proudly declaring that I’m a spoiled Dubai child. Having lived here for close to 20 years, I’ve become used to the luxury and comforts this city awards you. We barely walk around here taking our fancy cars from office parking lots to mall parking lots. However, when it comes to the weekends when you’re dependent on taxis, you’re stuck with the sometimes good-sometimes terrible service of RTA cabs. That’s why I was very excited to hear that Uber was launching in Dubai.
Uber calls itself “Everyone’s Private Driver” and essentially it is an on-demand luxury cab service. Unlike with Dubai taxi where you can spend at least an hour on the phone for the operator to pick up your call and then wait in the hope that your taxi will arrive, with Uber you can always be assured that your ride once confirmed.
The best part of Uber is the app, which is as easy as request, ride and pay via your mobile phone. No more having to explain to someone where you want to be picked up and dropped off. Just fire up the app, drop the pin on your pickup location and request for your ride – you even get an ETA of how quickly your ride arrives. And the payment is managed via your saved credit card so no awkward management of cash at the end of the ride. There’s also a way to split fares in case you’re sharing a ride. In case you’re on a work trip, you receive an itemized receipt via email after each ride.
As for the ride itself, Uber works with local limo drivers, i.e. the private taxis that you see at hotels. These cars and drivers are already licensed by the RTA so you can be rest assured of the quality and safety of the car. They generally use Lexus and BMW cars that are well-maintained and the drivers are extra courteous – opening and closing your door for you and offering you bottled water. Since I’m located in the Marina, I can usually find an Uber cab in less than 10 minutes. However, there have been times when the wait in certain parts of town has been 20+ minutes and I’ve found a regular cab easily. But rest assured, the team is working towards bringing more cars and drivers to the streets of Dubai every week.
Finally for those of you unaware, Uber isn’t a Dubai-based company. It was actually founded in San Francisco and has grown globally to become one of the hottest startups revolutionizing transportation. I was lucky enough to attend the Uber launch in Dubai and meet their Head of Global Operations, Ryan Graves. Whenever you speak to any Uber representative, you realize they have two goals: using technology to improve your lives and transforming the lives of the local drivers. Their backend technology helps put cars in areas where there is demand so customers are happy and it empowers local drivers to make the most out of their working hours. And if you aren’t in Dubai, you can take advantage of their top notch service in cities across 20 different countries around the globe.
So next time you’re cab hunting, why not download try out Uber. And if you use this link, you’ll get $10 off your first ride!
Disclaimer: This post contains referral links to Uber where I’ll be earning Uber credit.