Dubai-based transportation company Careem has opened its doors in Sudan’s capital Khartoum to become one of the few global companies that have started operations in the country following the end of the United States’ economic sanctions last year. Nevertheless, Sudan remains on the US list of terrorism sponsors next to North Korea, Iran, and Syria.
Careem is Uber’s competitor in the Middle East, competing with the US taxi company in cities like Cairo, Riyadh, and Dubai. Moreover, Careem became the first ride-hailing company to operate in the Israeli-controlled landlocked territory West Bank.
So far the company has employed ten Sudanese and has enrolled hundreds of drivers for its ride-hailing. By the end of the year, the company plans to expand its operations to at least one more city in the country and to increase the number of employees to 30.
Ibrahim Manna, the managing director for emerging markets at Careem told Reuters:
“My goal and aim is to cover as many (cities) as possible in the next one or two years.”
Careem will only be competing with Tirhal in Sudan since Uber does not operate in the country.
Sudan’s Economic Troubles
Sudan has been facing an economic crisis due to inflation and the weakening of the Sudanese currency. Additionally, the country is grappling with a shortage of foreign currencies
“The economic collapse will most probably be accompanied by a breakdown of the remaining security structures and to social disintegration,” economic analyst Abdelhadi Ibrahim told Sudan’s Radio Dabanga.
The economic troubles have seen President Omar al-Bashir dissolve the government in an attempt to fix the economic crisis according to the Middle East Eye.
However, Careem is counting on Sudan’s large population and demand for transport services to succeed in the country. The company also plans to reinvest its revenue back in the country over the next two to three years as its scales operations in the country.