Uber allowed to operate in Oman if it follows rules, says minister

Ride-hailing app Uber is allowed to operate in Oman, if it follows regulations governing taxis, according to Minister of Transport and Communications Dr. Ahmed Al Futaisi.

“Uber is welcome to the Sultanate if they agree to operate under the regulations set by the ministry,” he was quoted as saying by the Times of Oman.

“Services such as Uber and Careem can be implemented in yellow taxis only after metres are installed in the vehicles.”

Dr. Al Futaisi added, “We are aware that this is a service that many travellers and tourists look for, but if they are to operate here, they must do so following the country’s ways and not their own.”

Additionally, he addressed concerns from local taxi drivers who had objected to a government ruling that all Muscat taxis will have meters starting in June 2019.

“Oman is a developed country. There is no developed country around the world that does not have meters in their taxis. So why should Oman fall short in this aspect?,” he said.

“We are calling on all taxi owners to completely cooperate with the ministry, just as the ministry cooperated with them as much as possible.”

Careem resumed its services in Oman in October last year, launching a new operation in Muscat in partnership with local operator Marhaba Taxi. Careem initially launched in Muscat in May 2017 on its own, but stopped when it was asked by the Government of Oman to reconsider their operating model and focus first on working with licensed taxis. Prices are in line with regular taxis, with fares starting at OMR1.25.

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