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Careem releases its Customer and Business Trends of 2021

The economic recovery boosted the growth of Careem services in the Middle East, North Africa and Pakistan in 2021. Mobility of People transactions grew by 2.6x compared to December 2020,



Careem Food

Careem, the region’s leading multi-service platform, releases its 2021 customer and business trends from across its Rides, Intercity Travel, Careem Bike, Food and Grocery Delivery, Careem Express, and Careem Pay services.

The economic recovery boosted the growth of Careem services in the Middle East, North Africa and Pakistan in 2021. Mobility of People transactions grew by 2.6x compared to December 2020, while Mobility of Things and Mobility of Money grew 2.4x and 2x respectively.  The total number of rides completed across Careem’s 13 markets reached 109 million. Seven markets recorded more trips than the previous year including the UAE where completed rides increased by 28% from 2020. 

In 2021, one in five Customers in Dubai used multiple services on the app, an increase of 2.5x since December 2020, and the most popular combination of services was ride hailing and food delivery. The number of Careem Plus subscribers tripled during the year with average savings of AED 90 per month, or about five times the monthly subscription fee of AED 19.

Mudassir Sheikha, CEO and co-Founder at Careem, commented: “This year, we started simplifying the lives of people in more ways than just seamless transportation. More and more customers used Careem for multiple different daily needs, proving that the opportunity to simplify people’s lives with the convenience of one app is huge and we are just at the beginning of our journey.”

The airports with the most Careem journeys in 2021 were Jeddah (257,000 trips), Karachi (211,000 trips), and Dubai (207,000 trips). 218,000 Customers used Careem’s city-to-city service, which expanded in early 2021 to include Sharjah, Ajman, Ras Al Khaimah, Fujairah and Al Ain. The longest trip recorded in 2021 covered 1,020 km from Jubail to Riyadh.

1.6% of UAE ride-hailing trips from October to mid-December were made to and from Expo 2020, a total of 22,677 trips. Expo 2020 visitors completed 62,125 Careem Bike trips at the site, where Careem is the exclusive bikeshare provider. Careem Bike trips across Dubai and Abu Dhabi doubled to 830,000 in 2021 with the bike-sharing scheme expanding to include 2,000 pedal-assist bikes in total.

Daily food orders in the UAE grew 90% from last year, powered by the addition of 1,016 new restaurants. Al Baik retained the title as Careem’s most popular restaurant in 2021, and the Saudi chain’s Chicken Nuggets Meal was also the most popular meal for the second time running. The most frequent food combination was a Burger with Fries and Coke, and Garlic Sauce was the most frequently requested side order. The ‘laziest’ market was Pakistan, with 1 in every 6 Food orders less than 1 km away. Grocery orders were healthier with most orders coming from the fruits and vegetables category. Cat food sold four times more than dog food, bringing the Cat vs Dog debate to a close in 2021.

Careem’s last mile delivery service for businesses experienced 150% growth in daily deliveries from January to November 2021 with eCommerce growing 250% year-on-year, the fastest growing segment of Careem Express. Black Friday week was the peak period with daily deliveries crossing 45,000 per day. With more than 4,000 daily active Captains across the UAE, KSA and Egypt, Careem Express guaranteed instant or same-day delivery to Customers for businesses, enabling Captains to earn consistently even out of peak hours.

Careem Pay registered over 66 million transactions across six core markets in 2021. Pakistan had the highest use of peer-to-peer payments and mobile recharge, with over 443,000 transactions. Careem Captains topped-up their phones 32.6 million times in 2021, amounting to a total of $1.5 billion.

In 2021 Careem’s 1,200+ Care agents across ten locations received an average of 40,650 Customer service queries per day, and the most frequently asked question on social media was: ‘How do I become a Captain?’ Careem’s Care agents were supported by 14 chatbots in three languages and five different dialects. 12,000 Covid-related concerns were resolved, including sick pay compensations for Careem Captains. The most unique item lost and recovered was a bag of AED 900,000 cash, while the most frequently lost items were sunglasses, keys and mobile phones.

In 2021, Careem Customers donated $370,000 towards social causes via the Careem Rewards programme with the highest donations coming from the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Jordan. The highest value of donation went to the World Food Programme’s Share the Meal campaign.

Facts & Figures

How Careem made “Everyday life simple” in 2021

Customers using more services 

  • 1 in 5 Customers in Dubai used multiple services, an increase of 2.5x from 2020
  • The most popular combination of services was ride hailing and food delivery 
  • Growth in services across the app (compared to Dec 2020)
    • Mobility of People – grew 2.6x 
    • Mobility of Things – grew 2.4x
    • Mobility of Money – grew 2x 
  • Careem Plus subscribers tripled
    • Subscribers transact up to 22 times a month
    • Subscribers save an average of 5 times the monthly subscription fee of AED 19
    • 4 out of 5 subscribers use more than one service on the Careem app

Rides (UAE):

  • Total rides in 2021: over 5 million trips (28% increase from 2020)
  • Longest trip: 635kms from DXB-AUH-DXB
  • 130k Customers used the city-to-city service to Sharjah, Ajman, Ras Al Khaimah, Fujairah and Al Ain to Dubai and Abu Dhabi

Bike (UAE):

  • Expo: exclusive micro-mobility provider bike sharer with world-first kid seats
  • Bike reached 1 millionth rider in 2021 with a community of 120,000 riders
  • Careem Bike riders traveled a total of 6,310,621 km across Dubai
  • Bike trips doubled to 830,000 trips year to date
  • Bikes served over 122k clients with 6,5m km travelled
  • Number of bikes grew from 1,000 to 2,000 across Dubai and Abu Dhabi

Food (Global):

  • Most popular restaurant in KSA: Al Baik
  • Trendiest restaurants in UAE: Allo Beirut, The Pasta Guys, and Maraheb Yemeni Cuisine
  • Daily orders in UAE grew 90% powered by 1016 newly added restaurants which include authentic cuisines like Ravi’s and Em Sherif Cafe 
  • Most popular food combination was Burger with Fries and Coke 
  • Most popular side order was Garlic Sauce 
  • Most laziest market (including cities with most deliveries less than 1 km) was Pakistan, which 1 in every 6 orders less than 1 km away 
  • The percentage of deliveries that came early was 65% 

Groceries (UAE):

  • Most popular grocery item was Al Ain Water 
  • Highest sold item (overall) was Panadol Extra Optizorb Tablets 
  • Most unexpected item ordered was Red Dead Redemption 2 for Xbox  
  • Most popular category was Fruits and Vegetables 
  • 610,351 liters of water were ordered to date!
  • Most loyal customer ordered 365 orders in the entire year – more than one order a day!
  • Highest single order receipt was AED 3,243 
  • Cat food sold four times more than dog food 

Careem Express (B2B):

  • 150% growth in daily deliveries and 250% growth in eCommerce deliveries in 2021 vs 2020
  • Black Friday week was our peak with 45K deliveries 
  • Careem delivered for more than 200 partners in the region
  • Crowd sourced fleet of 4000+ (daily active #)

Delivery (UAE):

  • Percentage of deliveries that included sending an item to another Careem user: 77% 
  • 21.1% of Delivery Customers asking Careem Captains to purchase items on their behalf.
  • Most frequent order on the ‘Buy to Send’ feature was Food (specifically Biryani and Bakso) 
  • Most frequent orders on the ‘Collect to Send’ feature were Bags, Documents, and Laptops
  • Most random item sent for delivery was a bag of wigs used for the filming of a reality TV show

Pay (UAE):

  • Total peer to peer transactions: 90,000 
  • Total number of Peer-to-Peer Customers: 27,000
  • The highest use case for peer-to-peer payment: splitting bills at restaurants
  • Careem Pay introduced bill payments for DU and Etisalat 

Pay (global):

  • Over 66 million transactions on Careem Pay in 2021 (six core markets, local)
  • Highest usage of peer to peer service per market: $8.8 million with 122,000 transactions in Pakistan
  • Highest usage of Mobile Recharge was Pakistan with 1.6 million USD with 321,000 transactions in Pakistan
  • Total Captain top-up: 32.6 million Captain top ups worth 1.5 billion USD

Careem Care:

  • Around 40,650 customer service queries per day  in 2021 (Global) 
  • 1200+ Care agents working 24X7 from 10 sites
  • One of a kind team of 23 specially-abled (visually challenged) Care agents 
  • 43 Social Media pages supported with busiest hours between 4 to 5 PM DXB time
  • ZERO downtime during Covid, moving swiftly to a remote set-up 
  • 12,000 Covid related concerns resolved, including sick pay compensations for our Captains
  • 8 out of 10 of our customers happy with Careem Care
  • Most unique lost and recovered item ever: a bag of AED 900,000 cash
  • Most frequently lost items: sunglasses, keys, and mobile phones
  • 14 chatbots in 3 languages and 5 different dialects
  • Most used emojis on Social Media for Careem: :green_heart:334k :pray:79k :wink:28k
  • Most frequently asked question on Social Media: ‘How do I become a Captain?’

Careem’s social impact and donations:

  • During Ramadan, Careem’s restaurant partners raised almost $90,000 worth of meals for Careem’s ‘Eat a plate to fill a plate’ campaign. With every meal the Customer purchased, Careem’s partner restaurant donated a meal to a child through the “Share the meal foundation” under World Food Programme.
  • Careem and Hala donated $200,000 towards UNICEF’s Covid relief fund for India. 1 AED was donated for every ride and food order placed over a two week period, in addition to a direct $100k donation from both companies, raising $212,000 to supply life-saving oxygen & rapid PCR tests. 
  • Careem participated in a breast cancer awareness campaign in partnership with Al Jalila Foundation in October to enable users to donate with every order or directly to Al Jalila Foundation, raising over AED 20,000.
  • $370k  towards social causes via the Careem Rewards programme: 
  • Highest donations – Share The Meal (WFP) 
  • Market with most donations made: UAE, KSA, JOR
  • Most popular cause to donate to: Share the Meal (WFP)


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