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Riding towards a better future: why Raquel joined Uber

January 27 / Global

“The fast-paced culture and impact Uber has on our society, earners and riders’ lives made Uber my number one choice,” shares Raquel Azar, our Dubai-based Head of Programs for Rides in the Middle East and Africa. Below, we chat with Raquel about why she joined Uber, why she stays, and why now is a great time to join the team.

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I’m an Industrial Engineer, mother of two and currently the Head of Programs on our Rides team for the Middle East and Africa region. I started my career in consulting, moved to consumer goods, and then joined Uber. 

My motto in life is ‘leave the world a better place than you found it’ and I always strive to create a positive impact in both my personal and professional life. Working at Uber has made this possible, which is why I joined and am still part of the team 5 years on.”

Tell us about the shift from consulting to tech and why you chose Uber?

I loved consulting—working with different clients, stakeholders and teams. I enjoyed the hustle and fast paced environment. I wasn’t ready to leave, but I needed more. I needed to make a difference, own a project from A to Z, implement recommendations and see the tangible impact of my work. 

I joined Uber because the culture, values and vision were the perfect fit. The fast-paced culture and positive impact Uber has on our society, earners and riders’ lives made Uber my number one choice. There is never a dull moment. I’ve been with Uber for 5 years and still feel challenged every single day.” 

You’ve had 5 roles in 5 years at Uber. How has each move built on your growth journey?

“I went from being an individual contributor managing quality and compliance in 6 countries to managing a team of 11 people, 15 countries and 80+ products. 

When I first  joined I got to learn by doing and was empowered to talk to partners, identify problems, make recommendations and implement them. 

I was part of several regional mergers that increased my scope and responsibilities. After two years working on marketplace and driver engagement, I got the chance to start leading the growth and innovation team, a role that allowed me to share my knowledge, be a thought partner, and lead important projects. 

I took ownership of my professional growth and proactively sought more responsibilities over the years. I’m currently the Head of Programs, managing all rider related matters, sustainability,  airports, large events (such as the World Cup and Expo) and all non-core products in MEA. The World Cup was one of the most complex and enjoyable projects we’ve worked on in 2022 and it was great seeing the successful results after years of work and preparation. We moved more than 2.6M riders and created earning opportunities to more than 20K drivers during the tournament. We made a difference.

Along with my role as Head of Programs, I stepped up to be the Interim UAE GM in 2021, which was a great experience that exposed me to a different angle of the business”.

Any advice for aspiring women business leaders?

“Follow your dreams, take risks and most importantly practice resilience. When a challenge arises don’t give up, stand up stronger!

Be confident and be yourself. Wear your strengths and weaknesses on your sleeve. Don’t sit back waiting for opportunities. Taking initiative and being proactive pays off. Lean in, raise your hand and sit at the table (and read Lean In if you haven’t yet).” 

Last but not least, you can do it all and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

How would you describe Uber’s culture in MEA? 

“At Uber, our values aren’t just our shared beliefs; they are the mindsets we embrace, the choices we make, and the actions we take. In MEA specifically, three values stand out to me the most.

Great minds don’t think alike

The MEA team is extremely diverse. We  proactively seek out diversity in gender, nationality, experience, education and most importantly ideas. People are empowered to own their verticals and make decisions that impact thousands of lives.

Build with heart
We care about our work, the people around us, earners and riders. We care about the impact we have and build with heart.

Go get it
We hustle, we persevere, and we get things done! Our ambition is what drives us daily to deliver the best value to our community 

Why is now a great time to join the team?

“Uber is always growing and evolving, which continuously creates new challenges and opportunities. In MEA, we manage 15 countries and more than 100 cities with different dynamics and challenges. You will always be challenged and required to recommend solutions for complex problems. You will be presented with the opportunity to make a difference!”

Interested in joining us? Explore our open roles ->