March 28, 2019: Uber’s acquisition of Careem firmly places the UAE tech sector at centre stage, according to a local newspaper in Dubai, which described the $3.1 billion (AED11.38 billion) takeover as “stunning deal”.
Gulf News in its Thursday's editorial titled 'Innovation is alive in the desert', has said that the deal is “very significant in terms of technology and venture funding, and one that places the sector in the UAE firmly on the global stage – a quantum leap forward across the Middle East”.
The founders and senior management team at Careem will be walking with a spring in their step, the paper added.
The paper further states that the sheer size of the deal both indicates the market worth of Careem, which started out seven years ago as a corporate car and driver service, and vindicates the faith and efforts placed in innovative technologies by the various entities under the auspices of the government of Dubai.
“That $3.1 billion price paid by Uber now reflects the fast-moving upward trajectory of Careem, with the company being valued at $2 billion by private investors last year.
Certainly, Careem’s growth has been spectacular, beginning in 2012 as an app where private cars could be hired either for single trips or for blocks of time, and it now operates in 15 countries across the Middle East, expanding into food delivery and payments, and is effectively a one-stop shop for consumers,” the Dubai-based English language newspaper said, adding, that “For Uber, it’s a perfect fit”.
Another Dubai-based English language daily, Khaleej Times has said that Careem sale will boost UAE startups. The paper has described this deal the “second major acquisition since that of Souq.com by Amazon in 2017.”The deal is the largest ever technology sector transaction in the Middle East and puts the spotlight deservingly on a region that boasts of a diverse populace, an underexplored market and ambitious ventures with local flavours,” the paper wrote in its editorial.
“The deal is a vindication of the time, energy, effort and, most importantly, faith that the UAE government has placed in creating and supporting a startup ecosystem,” the paper added.