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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 10 December 2018

Careem said to test bus-booking service 

Careem Bus - a division aimed at attracting low-income earners - will initially go live in at least four Egyptian cities, sources say

Careem said to mull 14-country roll-out of new bus service. Victor Besa / The National
Careem said to mull 14-country roll-out of new bus service. Victor Besa / The National

Careem, the Middle East ride-hailing provider based in the UAE, is testing a bus-booking service ahead of a possible roll-out out across all 14 countries it operates in.

Careem Bus - a division aimed at attracting low-income earners - will initially go live in at least four Egyptian cities, and is expected to be rolled out in September, according to people familiar with the business who asked to remain anonymous. A Careem spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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The people did not disclose how much the Dubai company is investing in this project, but indicated that significant capital has been allocated for it.

Competition with Uber Technologies is pushing Careem to look at expanding into other services including food and package delivery. Uber has held preliminary talks to merge with its local competitor, people familiar with the matter previously told Bloomberg.

Careem has also been speaking with investors to raise $500 million, and has held early talks with banks about a potential IPO in January.