Uber, rival Careem suspend services in UAE capital Abu Dhabi

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Ride-hailing service Uber said Sunday that it and competitor Careem have abruptly suspended services in the United Arab Emirates capital of Abu Dhabi due to “unforeseen circumstances,” suggesting potential difficulties with local regulators.

San Francisco-based Uber described the move as temporary and said it hopes to have more information in the next two days. It declined to say what prompted the suspension.

“We want to let you know that this was a decision taken by both companies, and our goal is to resume operations in Abu Dhabi as soon as possible,” Uber said in a statement. The company has operated in the Emirates since 2013.

Local regulations mean that only licensed limousine drivers in the seven-state Emirates federation can drive for ride-hailing services such as Uber, which let passengers users order rides and pay through a smartphone app.

Dubai-based Careem said in a statement to The Associated Press that it decided to suspend service after some of its cars were stopped by authorities.

“Until we have further clarification on the situation, Careem has decided to temporarily limit services in Abu Dhabi to avoid any inconvenience this may cause,” the company said. It did not elaborate.

Officials at the Abu Dhabi Department of Transport could not be reached for comment.

The companies’ operations in the Emirates’ largest city of Dubai, which has a different transport regulator, were unaffected by the suspension.

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