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Uber spends big in Egypt despite big challenges

Wednesday, October 11, 2017 - 01:44

Uber may be having problems in Europe but it's continuing to expand elsewhere. As Kate King reports, it's launched a $20 million centre in Egypt despite big challenges following sweeping IMF-backed reforms and record inflation.

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It's one of the world's busiest cites - that's a challenge of many and an opportunity for some . Uber first launched in Cairo in 2014. Since then a lot has changed. Fuel prices have risen 50 percent in under a year and the value of the currency has halved. But that hasn't put the U.S. tech giant off - it's just spent $20 million on a new centre of excellence in the city. (SOUNDBITE) (English) UBER EMEA CHIEF PIERRE-DIMITRI GORE-COTY, SAYING: "It is a world class facility and is the largest center of excellence Uber has across Europe, Middle East and Africa which is focused on serving customers, riders and drivers across Middle East and Africa. Egypt has been trying to lure back foreign investors following the 2011 uprising. A new investment law offers incentives to businessmen. But some of the economic reforms have meant costs for drivers have soared. As a result Uber has partnered car dealerships to help give drivers access to affordable vehicles. (SOUNDBITE) (English) UBER EMEA CHIEF PIERRE-DIMITRI GORE-COTY, SAYING: "We've also had to play with prices to some extent and to increase prices with inflation to make sure our drivers were still able to earn a living on Uber while making sure that we are remaining very affordable options for people to move around the city." In 2016 Uber had 2 million users in Egypt and gave jobs to 600,000 drivers. It still sees huge potential at a time when more established markets are proving problematic. It's currently trying to overturn a decision by London's transport regulator to remove its city license. It has until Friday to lodge an appeal

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Uber spends big in Egypt despite big challenges

Wednesday, October 11, 2017 - 01:44