Careem has announced that it will cease operations in Oman from February 3rd. In a post shared on its social media pages today, the company said: “Careem decided to discontinue operating in Oman due to the absence of the regulatory factors that provide us with a healthy investment environment.” It did not specify what the regulations were.
Careem was launched in Oman’s capital city, Muscat, in May 2017 but stopped when it was directed by the government to rework their operating model and consider working with licenced taxis. It resumed operations in September 2018 in collaboration with Marhaba Taxi, a local operator.
Riding hailing apps have struggled with regulators in many global markets as traditional taxis objected to their presence. Last year, Uber was told they could operate in Oman if they agreed to abide by the rules of the Transport and Communications ministry.
Uber’s purchase of Careem earlier this year marks the biggest technology sector acquisition in the region till date.