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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 20 June 2018

Careem launches 'Assist' service to cater for people with disabilities in Abu Dhabi

The cars will all have the capability to take wheelchairs, with the vehicles designed to lower passengers to the ground, and equipped with ramps

Careem  started preliminary IPO discussions as it prepares to hire financial advisers. Victor Besa / The National
Careem started preliminary IPO discussions as it prepares to hire financial advisers. Victor Besa / The National

Careem has introduced a special car type dubbed 'Assist' to serve the Abu Dhabi disabled community.

The launch is in partnership with Inclusion Services, a Swedish ground transportation service for people with physical disabilities.

The new vehicles are designed specifically to cater towards people with a physical handicap. They will all have the capability to take wheelchairs, with the vehicles designed to lower passengers to the ground, and equipped with ramps.

The drivers are also "carefully selected" based on their temperament and empathetic nature, Careem said, and receive additional training on how to look after disabled passengers.

However, it's not exactly a solution to your daily commute; prices are fixed at Dh350 for a one hour door-to-door trip. Careem are offering a 50 per cent discount on your first trip, and an option to buy a package for Dh1000 for five rides.

"Ride hailing apps are borne from the notion that technology can play a role in simplifying and improving people’s lives. Connecting someone with a ride nearby to get them to a destination, when they want, hassle free, is something that everyone should have access to in today’s world," Bassel Al Nahlaoui, Managing Director of Careem, Gulf said.

It's unclear when the cars will be rolled out across Dubai. However, Mr Al Nahlaoui indicated it would soon be ubiquitous with their fleet world-wide.

"To play a role in providing people of determination with more freedom to get out and about to see their friends, go for lunch, head to the mall, all the things we take for granted, is a true privilege and something we hope to extend out to every city we operate in.”

Ingemar Fredricsson, chief executive of Inclusion Services, said the services was "not only a unique opportunity to help serve the Abu Dhabi community but also represents a much wider mission for us".

"We hope to be able to use this model or working with a ride hailing app, to take our services across the wider Middle East and serve every city Careem operates in."