Usually, becoming an Uber driver or taking part in any other such private ride-share service such as Lyft or Ola is pretty straight-forward - you own a decent car and a driving licence, you aren't a maniac as proven by police records and other verifications and you have free time on your hands.
Here in the UAE, it is a bit different but Uber and Careem have come up with an RTA-approved system for getting us the taxi services we need. RTA and these companies have been working together for a couple of years to ensure that these services are made available with as much safety, affordability and ease of use as possible.
Uber is currently doing a pilot run of UberX while Careem is trying out CareemGO, both being their most affordable offerings in the UAE.
Note: This guide is based on publically available information; if you plan on signing up or getting more information, contact these companies directly.
Here are the answers to your burning questions.
Do you need to own a car?
No - but if you want to use your private car, you need to submit relevant documents and undergo inspection to ensure that the vehicle is safe, meets standard requirements and is insured. Some drivers use cars on lease, or owned by the limo company that they're registered with.
Who can register as a driver?
Anyone who meets all of the following requirements;
- Holder of a commercial UAE driving licence
- Be 21 years or older
- Must be registered with or working for an existing limousine or taxi company licensed by the RTA in the UAE
What documents do you need?
- A UAE commercial driving licence
- Proof of residence, or your Emirates ID
- Vehicle - registration documents, insurance etc.
Training and screening?
With Uber, you are required to watch a short video as part of your induction and fill out an online screening for your driving and criminal history. Uber and Careem work with the RTA to ensure that the verification process is done comprehensively for each driver who gets registered.
Once you are certified and registered, you can log on to the app to start taking trips.