Middle East’s as well as North Africa’s ridesharing recovery is all powered in by Egypt

Image Credit: - Marco Federmann/Pixabay.com

Arab League’s most populous nation, Egypt has emerged as a bright hotspot with the ridesharing firms to witness a huge recovery within the horizon amidst although the Covid-19’s Pandemic has stuck out the trade of moving individuals the toughest during the preceding year.

The ridesharing firms like Careem, Uber as well as Swvl are all back on their hoods to attain or for do exceptional outcome for the pre-COVID trading levels this year within the Arab league’s most populous nation.

The Careem Egypt has attained 67 percent of the Pre-Covid working rates, post viewing out their activity to plummet to 20 percent within just the preceding year. The Uber Egypt has witnessed a huge recovery as it had improved 80 percent regard Pre-Covid levels. Both are poised to upstage a complete recovery within this year.

The Egypt’s Bus transport app Swvl, that had temporarily stopped out their business actions during the peak of COVID-19 during Mid-March to July, has finally witnessed out huge surge within their demand which has progressed within their native market as the public have opted out for service regarding the public buses.

The Swvl’s founder and chief executive, Mostafa Kandil, stated out that: “It’s been to a large extent a swift recovery. Because what’s the alternative? The alternative is taking a public bus crammed with 200 other people.”

As per the words stated from General Manager of Careem Egypt, Haitham Essam, it stated out that: “Restrictions were more relaxed and more people started to go to work and back to their previous life, especially in the second half of 2020. This is one of the reasons why recovery has been faster in Egypt than in other Middle Eastern countries.”

The General Manager for Uber Egypt, Ahmed Khalil, further stated out that: “In Egypt, we managed to adjust our lifestyles to adapt to the new normal.”

As per the World Bank’s statistics and report, Egypt is the only nation within MENA, whose economy witnessed surge the preceding year, rather than the decline as its Gross Domestic Product progressed to 3.6 percent within July 2019-June 2020 fiscal year. The Egyptian economy is further poised to witness an upsurge of 2.7 percent within the 2021 financial year as well as 5.8 percent during 2022.

Numerous factors have hugely offered Egypt, the Arab League’s third-largest economy, robust and stand out in the Mena territory. Unlike other nations that went into a full lockdown during the initial wave, Egypt had levied a night-time curfew. The government dodged closing down majority of industries as well as services to guard public’ livelihoods and the economy.

Egypt has verified more than 1,88,000 COVID-19 cases, of which 1,45,418 individuals have recovered, as according to Worldometer, which tracks the pandemic. The nation has 31,815 active cases and registered over 11,120 deaths. Egyptian health officials guess the number could upsurge by ten-fold due to inadequate testing and the elimination of private lab outcomes.

With few businesses in Egypt technically and logistically equipped for remote working, many workforces had to continue to commute to offices.

Therefore, ridesharing benefactors engrossed on swelling health and safety measures, such as necessitating masks and installation of the plastic separators between captains and passengers. They also reserved clients by plummeting the budgets as well as announcing new services.

Daily Covid-19 cases in Egypt upsurged at 1,774 in June and spiked again to 1,418 on December 31. However, the daily count has stayed relatively stable since initial February when it dropped to 509 cases.


Careem, which was procured by Uber in 2019 for $3.1 billion, vigilantly guesses business might return to pre-pandemic levels by the cease of the year.

It operates in 12 countries in MENA, inclusive of the Lebanon, Saudi Arabia and the UAE. Out of 94 cities, 25 are in Egypt.

“All nations are contributing, but definitely Egypt has been our positive spot for Careem over the last year,” Mr Essam said.

Careem Egypt announced Go Aman in June, fitting plastic shields between drivers and passengers. It also slashed the budgets of its standard Go services by 10 percent and lingering coverage of its economy class Go Offer merchandize to 10 more governorates in Egypt.

New verticals in Egypt focusing on “the mobility of things” include Wasally (a pick-up and delivery service) and Eshtery (a mobile-based shopping application).

“Clients have the capability to use our Careem captains to either buy them stuff from shops or to deliver things from one point to another,” Mr Essam said.

Its last-mile B-to-B delivery service Careem Express nearly doubled last year, he added.


Uber, which had the global major number of active users among ridesharing businesses before the pandemic, recorded a full-year net loss of $6.76bn for 2020, 20 percent lesser in than in 2019.

In the MENA territory, the firm operates in Bahrain, Egypt, Lebanon, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE. During the pandemic, “Egypt has been one of the better performers across Europe and the Middle East”, Mr Khalil said.

Similar to the Careem, Uber familiarized health and safety measures, such as fitting separators in its vehicles and sanitizer dispensers in Uber Buses. Its new merchandizes included the Uber Connect for the conveyance of goods and Uber Black for voyages from Cairo International Airport.


Swvl, which permits travellers to reserve the seats on private buses operating on secured directions and pay fares through its mobile app, is active in Egypt, Kenya, Pakistan and Jordan.

Mr Kandil further stated that “While in advanced markets, individuals have the indulgence to break using mass transit”, that is not the case in emerging markets. We’ve actually witnessed an upsurge in our demand post-Covid.” Mr Kandil also further added that “When everyone was firing people, we were actually hiring more people.”

Swvl stopped its services in Egypt for three months “more from a safety standpoint” rather than a business standpoint. The firm also utilized the prospect to scale its engineering, merchandize and data science teams from 40 to 130 individuals.

Meanwhile, it’s devices to progress to Saudi Arabia and the UAE this year. “So, that 2021 for us is going to be an extremely exciting year,” he said.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here