Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 21 August 2019

Careem expands its food delivery service to Makkah

More than 100 restaurants and outlets are available to order from within the city

Fifteen per cent of Careem's addressable market is able to order food online, according to the Dubai technology company. Ahmad Al-Rubaye for The National
Fifteen per cent of Careem's addressable market is able to order food online, according to the Dubai technology company. Ahmad Al-Rubaye for The National

Careem has expanded its food delivery service to Makkah to boost its presence in Saudi Arabia and grow its business, the company said.

The service, operated through the Careem Now app, will be available to the 1.5 million people living in the city.

“The people of Makkah are now able to enjoy the same Careem Now service that’s already available in Jeddah and Riyadh,” said Adeeb Warsi, managing director of Careem Now.

"Only 15 per cent of the food delivery market in our region currently operates via an app, but Careem Now is changing that and enabling people in Mecca to order from a wide range of restaurants easily and with rapid door-to-door delivery,” he said.

More than 100 restaurants and outlets are available to order from within the city, including Al Baik, McDonald's, Maestro Pizza, Pizza Hut and Baskin Robbins, among many others. More outlets will be added every week.

The food delivery market in countries Careem Now wants to enter is predicted to grow to around $25 billion (Dh91.81bn) by 2022.

Careem Now app connects users with nearby restaurants and offers search options, sorting and tagging based on cuisine or dietary requirements, recommended dishes and real-time tracking of orders.

“The idea of having to call up a restaurant and read out a list of items, and hope it’s all written down correctly, are increasingly over. Ordering by an app is how the industry is moving,” Mr Warsi added.

“The younger generations are driving digital ordering – which in the US is growing three times faster than dine-in traffic – and it’s now increasingly available in the Middle East.”

Uber, which agreed to acquire Careem for $3.1bn in March in the biggest tech deal in the Middle East, operates its food delivery service Uber Eats in 19 countries, including Saudi Arabia.

Updated: July 22, 2019 10:03 AM

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