March 2016

2 Initiatives Bringing Car-Sharing to Dubai


Image credit: Carpool Arabia

Options for getting around Dubai are increasing every day, with new bus lines, taxi services and now ride-sharing entering the transportation mix: making Dubai more seamless and efficient for all residents and tourists getting around the city.

From cost-saving on daily commutes, to on-demand car services for trips to IKEA or the airport, two new and emerging car-sharing services are gaining momentum in Dubai, contributing to Dubai’s growing sharing economy and creating new opportunities for economic opportunity and ease of living.

1. Carpool Arabia

Launched during Start-up Weekend Dubai 2013 by two Dubai residents facing long, solo daily communities to Abu Dhabi, Carpool Arabia has been steadily growing and refining its service plan. Its first mobile app launched earlier this year.

Available on Apple and Android devices, the new Carpool Arabia app allows users to schedule rides day-by-day or up to 14 days in advance. GPS technology allows riders to direct drivers to exact geo-pin coordinates, while a chat features means riders and refine plans with the driver before scheduled pick-up times.

In addition to cost savings, riders and drivers enjoy the benefits of having companions along for the daily commute. Many users are new residents to Dubai, and report the program is a great way to meet new people living and working in their community.

2. Sharekni by RTA

Launched in July 2015, RTA’s ride-sharing service, Sharekni has already built a network of more than 6,000 drivers and 12,000 passengers, completing over 5,000 rides in just 9 months. The app has been explicitly developed as cash-free service, with restrictions in place to ensure the app is not used as a money-making tool — although riders are allowed to share petrol costs.

The service has been fully designed by the RTA with a focus on both the financial and emotional benefits of ride-sharing.

“Benefits of the practice also include easing the psychological and physical pressures associated with driving in congested roads; which in turn will contribute to raising productivity, and cementing the links between community members through the socialisation of carpoolers,” said Mattar Al Tayer, Director General of the RTA.

As a Strategic Partner of Smart Dubai, RTA has developed the Sharekni Ride Sharing program in line with the vision of Smart Dubai to make Dubai the happiest city on earth, through technology innovation.

“Sharekni is one of the step to make Dubai the smartest cities in the world.Through this service, the RTA is seeking to ease traffic snarls in Dubai, especially during peak times, reduce the number of single occupancy vehicles, and slash the overall number of vehicles on streets.” Al Tayer added.

As ride-sharing and car-sharing services in Dubai take off — international juggernaut Uber is also in talks with RTA to launch a ride-sharing service — residents and visitors will begin to see easing traffic congestion, cost-savings and even emotional benefits as the drudgery of the daily commute becomes an opportunity to create meaningful human connections.

The time and cost-savings that directly result from such new services launched from the public and private sector will accelerate the vision of Smart Dubai, boosting people’s happiness with innovative technology making Dubai a more seamless, efficient and impactful city experience.

Read More:
Arabian Business - ‘MENA Car-sharing business ‘to launch this year’’
Wamda - ‘Carpool Arabia looking to ease UAE congestion woes’
Khaleej Times - ‘RTA launches carpooling app ‘Sharekni’ in Dubai’