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Ride-hailing service app Careem ceases operations in Qatar

The announcement came in the form of an email sent to customers in Qatar on Monday.

Careem has ceased operations in Qatar just two months after the FIFA World Cup in the country, where its branded vehicles were part of the football tournament’s official plans to transport visiting fans along with Uber and local taxi and bus service provider Karwa.

The announcement came in the form of an email sent to customers in Qatar on Monday. The email did not state the reasons behind the closure.

“It was a pleasure to help simplify your day. Unfortunately, Careem’s ride-hailing business will no longer operate in Qatar from February 28, 2023,” the email sent by the company said.

Al Jazeera has reached out to Careem officials for comment.

In addition to ride-hailing services in Qatar, Careem also provided grocery and food delivery services. It also ran a range of services on its application, including digital payments and courier services at other locations it served.

The Dubai-based company launched in the region in 2012, three years before Uber.

In 2019, Uber announced it was acquiring Careem for $3.1 billion, leading the US company to dominate the market in the Middle East and Pakistan.

However, an Uber official told Al Jazeera that regulatory approvals for the acquisition had not been granted in Qatar, so the sale of Careem’s Qatari business had not yet been completed.

“Uber’s operations are continuing as usual (in Qatar after Careem’s announcement,” Norhen Ali, Uber’s MENA Communications Manager, told Al Jazeera.

“In 2019, Uber sought approval from certain local competition authorities, including in Qatar, to acquire Careem. While regulatory approvals have been obtained in other countries, unfortunately this has not happened in Qatar.”