As Uber faces setback after setback, other ride hailing apps are coming out from under the industry giant’s shadow. As Dalia wrote last week, local apps are fighting to dominate the market in Latin America and Asia. However, the battle isn’t limited to these regions. Just this week, Dubai-based Careem scored a major win as Prince Alwaleed bin Talal’s Kingdom Holding Company announced a $62 million investment in the app. The Prince’s 7.11% stake was part of a larger $150 million funding round which included a contribution from Daimler. Notably, Careem, which is valued at about $1 billion and serves the greater MENA region, is said to have an advantage over Uber when it comes to positive reviews and accommodating women riders.

Uber is still the top app in many regions, but it’s clear that local apps like Grab in Southeast Asia, 99Taxis in Brazil, and Careem in the Middle East and North Africa are major contenders due to their knowledge of the communities they serve and investments from local heavyweights.

Yet, unlike Latin America and Southeast Asia, the ride-hailing market in MENA is still fairly small; Dalia’s global survey assessing transportation use finds just 26% of urban smartphone owners in the MENA region use ride hailing apps compared to the global average of 31%. See the infographic below for breakdown of a ride-hailing app usage by countries in the Middle East. (*Note Pakistan and Turkey are not usually included within the MENA region, but because Careem and Uber are also available in these countries they have been included within the greater region.)


As the global competition for ride-hailing continues, monitoring and understanding the growth of app use among people worldwide is essential. For more analysis about ride-hailing app usage or to learn how to get involved in our upcoming global transportation surveys, get in touch with