The MENA region was Uber’s “fastest-growing” worldwide in 2018. With the acquisition of its biggest competitor, Dubai’s Careem, its dominance in the local market is assured. Uber hopes to make its services more affordable in the UAE as it rolls out a new initiative that will see Emirati nationals become Uber drivers.
How Can You Take Advantage of Uber’s Growth?
Starting a new app and getting all the regulatory approvals to build a competing service is far too expensive for most investors. Instead, you can provide services that take advantage of the strong growth of Uber in Dubai.
The services that you can potentially provide are in the following areas:
- Connect drivers with affordable vehicle providers that meet Uber requirements
- Provide training to Uber drivers
- Assist drivers in signing up with Uber
- Provide maintenance contracts for vehicles
- Help drivers comply with RTA rules and regulations
- Connect them with accountants for bookkeeping services, so they have a better assessment of their financial situation
Understanding the Essentials:
Your business will act as a middleman, essentially as a consultancy. You will need to work with car dealerships and workshops to negotiate deals where if you find them, customers, you earn a commission and receive a special rate due to volume. From a driver’s perspective, the vehicle and maintenance services need to be more competitive then what they would find individually.
You can form partnerships with local driving schools to provide training to Uber drivers. These schools also have their own PRO‘s who work with the RTA daily and can, therefore, help drivers with all sorts of RTA matters.
One of the key aspects of your business will be getting drivers to sign up for Uber and use your services. In many countries, any driver with a license can do so; however in the UAE, if you are an ex-pat, you need to be classified as a “limousine driver” under an RTA-registered limousine company visa. This means ex-pats cannot moonlight as Uber drivers if they don’t have the right visa. Your company can connect interested drivers with RTA registered limousine companies.
A way to bypass the very specific visa requirements is to focus on Emirati nationals, this is one of the new targeted demographics by Uber. A similar program in Saudi Arabia has been a success leading to thousands of Saudi nationals to work as drivers for the firm. As a consultancy, you can be the one-stop-shop to disseminate information as well as provide contacts for relevant service providers for Emirati nationals.
Incorporate Your Company
To keep costs to a minimum, we advise that you open a free zone company. You can operate through a Flexi-desk offered by many of the jurisdictions and save money. As far as the type of license, you can either get a transportation consultancy or a business consultancy license. The later will give you more scope to grow if you expand into other areas as this sector evolves.
Depending on the jurisdiction, you can get your license in as little as a few days and be in business in a week. Your focus once incorporated will be on building those key relationships with external parties. Marketing will also be critical in spreading awareness of your business.
Get the Right Advice
With dozens of free zones to choose from, it can be overwhelming for an entrepreneur to select the right jurisdiction. Our consultants have the requisite experience to give you the best-unbiased advice so that you can focus on making your business a success. Contact us on how we can help you with a free consultation.