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An update to our services in KSA

January 21, 2020 / Saudi Arabia

Since launching in Saudi, we have helped facilitate reliable and convenient transportation services to millions of riders across more than 70 cities around the Kingdom. 

Over the years, we are proud that hundreds of thousands of Saudis have been able to benefit from the flexible economic opportunity the technology provides them with. In 2015, we had an objective to create 100k economic opportunities for Saudis by the year 2020. In a little over a year we were able to surpass that goal, and today more than 200k Saudis are on-boarded on the app.

Due to the recent implementation of regulatory requirements to the ride-hailing industry, the number of vehicles operating on our platform will decline in some cities. As a result, riders may experience longer than usual wait times and/or higher surge levels. 

What is happening?
Due to regulatory requirements on the ride-hailing industry which have recently gone into effect in Saudi Arabia, ride-hailing companies are restricted to dispatching private taxi vehicles operated by Saudi nationals only. This may impact vehicle availability in some cities on the app and may result in an increase in wait time and/or surge levels. Public taxis are exempt from this requirement.

Why are fares increasing?  
This is not a result of an increase in Uber’s recommended fares. Uber’s algorithms monitor demand and supply in real-time. Dynamic pricing kicks in when our systems notice an increase in the number of riders seeking to take trips relative to the number of drivers available. Depending on that imbalance, fares based on the app recommended pricing will rise above the standard recommended fare. If the number of riders continues to outstrip the number of available drivers, fares will rise accordingly. If the number of riders falls and/or the number of available drivers in an area increases, surge levels will decrease.

Why is the impact so significant? 
Although non-Saudi drivers operating on the Uber app under private taxi fleets constituted a small percentage of the total number of partner drivers on the platform, they still have greatly helped move people during peak hours around the Kingdom. 

Be assured that our teams are working tirelessly to continue to facilitate reliable and convenient transportation services at the push of a button. 

Thank you for your understanding.