Egypt’s parliament has passed a law regulating ride-sharing apps Uber and Careem, potentially ending a lawsuit that could shut them down in one of their biggest markets
The new law comes with new fees and data sharing requirements.
The new law came in light of their suspension by an Egyptian court following a suit filed in March by Egyptian taxi drivers who maintained that both Uber and Careem were illegally using cars as taxis.
However last month another court stayed the suspension and allowed both companies to continue operations while the case is appealed.
The new law stipulates that ride-sharing companies obtain five-year renewable licences for a fee of $1.71 million and that drivers pay annual fees to obtain special licences to work with the company, according to Reuters.
In statement, Uber welcomed the regulations, praising Egypt as one of the first countries in the Middle East to pass progressive regulations, and that the company will cooperate with the Government in the coming months as the law is finalised.
The law requires the companies to retain user data for 180 days and share it with authorities “on request” and “according to the law,” according to a copy of the law reviewed by Reuters.
The law must now be ratified by President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.
Egypt is Uber’s largest market in the Middle East, with 157,000 drivers in 2017 and four million registered users since it launched in Egypt in 2014. Last year the company affirmed its commitment to Egypt, despite certain challenges in light of its economic reforms, and in October announced a $20 million investment in its new support centre in Cairo.
It has had to make deals with local car dealerships to provide its drivers with affordable vehicles and adjust its ride prices to ensure its workers were not hit too hard by inflation.