In a statement on Sunday, Uber announced its intention to invest EGP 500 million in Egypt as part of its EGP 2.2 billion investment in the Middle East and North Africa region.
According to the statement, there are more than 30,000 Cairenes now using Uber to earn money on either a full-time or part-time basis. This means that Cairo is the fastest city in the MENA region to embrace Uber.
“Uber transformed urban mobility for millions of Egyptians when we launched in Cairo, introducing a safe, reliable and efficient way to move around the city,” said Uber Egypt’s General Manager Anthony Khoury.
“But Uber is more than that – we are creating valuable economic opportunities at a time when unemployment remains all too common in the Middle East. Our goal is to invest more than ever before in Egypt, providing more work as well as a better way to travel for Egyptians,” continued the General Manager in the press release, adding that a large percentage of Uber Egypt drivers were completely unemployed beforehand.
Khoury also breifly addressed the legal issues Uber and other ride-sharing apps are facing, stating that the Egyptian government is supportive of innovative technology.
“The Government is very clear that innovative technologies can play a crucial role in helping people get around our cities and so it is encouraging that regulations for ride-sharing are under discussion. We can help even further when the private and public sectors work together with the best interests of the people at heart,” said Khoury.
In March 2016, after a wave of protests against car services such as Uber and Careem, Egypt’s government said that it would protect companies that have offered such “unique” services which the Egyptian market needs.
In a sharp rebuke to the taxi drivers, the spokesperson for the Prime Minister said that traditional taxis face a number of issues, including a deterioration in the car’s quality and faulty meters.
The spokesperson condemned recent protests and blocking of roads by taxi drivers, adding that they will be dealt with by the police. The spokesperson also said that Egypt would continue to support the operation of Uber and Careem.