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Egypt to Shutdown Uber and Careem for Allegedly Violating the Law

22 March 2018

An Egyptian court ordered today the suspension of licences for ride-hailing companies Uber and Careem after taxi drivers filed a lawsuit seeking to shutdown operations of the two firms in Egypt, judicial sources said. Careem, in a statement on its Facebook page, also said it would continue its operations.

The applications took off in Cairo, a city of 20 million people with near-constant traffic and little parking.

For consumers, Uber and Careem have largely been welcomed, not least since they are seen to provide more safety, properly regulated fees, and greater cleanliness.

The apps are especially popular among women, who face rampant sexual harassment in Egypt, including from some taxi drivers.

The ruling can, however, be appealed before Egypt's High Administrative Court, local media Egyptian Streets reports.

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Drivers with Uber and Careem say they are harassed both by taxi drivers and by police - echoing concerns elsewhere in the region.

The case against the two firms argued the ride-hailing services were illegally using private cars as taxis.

"They have to stop operations and block their mobile applications on the internet", he said.

However, Careem posted on Twitter "affirms the continuation of operations normally and it (Careem) has not been officially notified of ceasing its operations". Uber's Waked said the company has been working with the government to draw up a ride-sharing legal framework.

Uber Egypt's general manager Abdellatif Waked said: "We respect the rulings of the Egyptian judiciary". Until then, commuters either used public transport or Cairo's often-dilapidated and dusty taxis, whose drivers routinely refuse to switch on their meters, leading to frequent disputes over fares.

Egypt to Shutdown Uber and Careem for Allegedly Violating the Law