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Uber raises hands, shuts down operations in Pakistan amid growing local competition

Sumit Vishwakarma
New Update
uber pakistan

American ride-hailing giant Uber entered Pakistan in 2016. However, the journey has come to an end as the company has shut down its operations in the country.

According to media reports, the company has been facing intense competition from local Pakistani cab aggregators.

Careem to carry forward Uber's operations in Pakistan

Despite Uber's exit, its subsidiary Careem will continue to provide ride-hailing services across Pakistan. Uber acquired Careem in 2019 for $3.1 billion but maintained separate operations and branding.


The spokesperson noted, "We've made the decision to cease operating the Uber app in Pakistan. Our subsidiary brand Careem will continue to operate, with the Careem app offering ride-hailing services across Pakistan."

Shift of operations to Careem amid market challenges

In 2022, Uber reduced its presence in major cities like Karachi, Multan, Faisalabad, Peshawar, and Islamabad, maintaining operations only in Lahore through both the Uber and Careem apps.

The decision reflects the challenges faced by burgeoning local enterprises offering more competitive rates and flexible services such as In-Ride, where fares can be negotiated directly with drivers.

Provisions for users and opportunities for drivers

Uber is facilitating a smooth transition for its users and drivers. Users with remaining balances in their Uber accounts are assured by the spokesperson that they can reclaim these funds and will be offered free rides on Careem.

For drivers, Uber said the opportunities to join Careem Rides are being actively promoted to minimize disruption. "We work closely with Careem Rides teams to minimize the impact on drivers that use the Uber app," said the spokesperson.

Local competition reshapes ride-sharing landscape

The ride-sharing market in Pakistan has experienced significant growth, driven by various local and international players such as Bykea, Siayara, Airlift, Bolt, SWVL, and InDrive34.

These companies offer a range of services, from car rides to motorcycle rides and bus-based commuting solutions, catering to the diverse transportation needs of the Pakistani market. Currently, 

Careem operates in 10 cities across Pakistan, including Karachi, Islamabad, Lahore, Peshawar, Multan, Faisalabad, Abbottabad, Gujranwala, Sialkot, and Quetta. It aims to maintain its service reliability amidst evolving market conditions.