Hala, the Dubai taxi joint venture between the Roads & Transport Authority (RTA) and Careem, has partnered with UAE operator Etisalat to offer its cab drivers a data bundle and international minutes package. Around 25,000 taxi drivers in Dubai will benefit from the year-long postpaid package, which can be activated on any existing or new Etisalat UAE mobile number.
The offer began on 10 February and is one of several initiatives by Hala to improve the lives of cab drivers through partnerships under the guidance of the RTA. Hala is also helping drivers by providing advanced mapping and journey-planning tools. By way of this in-car technology, drivers can have access to a wider passenger base and get to their next pick-up in the shortest time possible.
We think this partnership between an MNO, Etisalat, and a taxi consortium is an excellent example of a public-spirited private-sector collaboration in the mobile marketplace. The in-car solutions, which make it easier for taxi drivers to conduct their business, use technology that is requires mobile connectivity to function. So it is a natural extension of Hala’s previous initiatives to offer a special package of mobile data and voice minutes for the drivers to use for their smartphones, which they also use as an integral part of their work process. The fact that the package is offered on a postpaid basis will tend to keep the drivers in Etisalat’s ecosystem on a longer-term basis. That will also help Hala to maintain consistency in its relationship with its drivers. Finally, it should be noted that the number of taxi drivers in Dubai, 25,000, is quite substantial and therefore constitute an important potential customer base for the operator. As long as the price is right, it should do well for the operator in terms of customer retention and acquisition.