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Careem launches new Covid-19 vaccination transport feature in UAE

Rohma Sadaqat /Dubai
rohma@khaleejtimes.com Filed on March 7, 2021
Careem users across the UAE will find the new ‘Get vaccinated’ tool in their app home screen below the tiles for Careem’s other rides, bikes, food, cleaning and delivery services

Due to most of the vaccination sites being newly established and not yet appearing on maps, Careem set out to pinpoint the location, phone number and operating hours of each site and built that information into the new tool


Careem has launched a new feature in its app that allows customers in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, and Ajman to book a ride to a vaccination site.

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In addition, the new ‘Get vaccinated’ tool provides residents with detailed information from official government sources on the different vaccines being offered in the UAE, vaccine eligibility, and the timings and locations of all vaccination sites across the country. The customer can call the vaccination centre nearest to their location through the app and book a safe and reliable ride to the vaccination site in just two taps.

“We are grateful that the UAE government has invested so much to provide easy access to the Covid-19 vaccines, and we wanted to do our part to encourage everyone who can to get vaccinated by making that process just a little simpler,” said Mudassir Shaikha, CEO and co-founder of Careem.

Speaking to Khaleej Times, Bassel Alnahlaoui, Careem’s managing director for Mobility, further explained the customer-centric approach that the company took in creating the new feature. “There is no shortage of information that is out there regarding the vaccines and the procedures, but the challenge is finding the information that is relevant to you and your family that will help you with your next step,” he said.

In January Careem observed a surge in the number of customers booking rides to vaccination sites. To date over 1,000 customers have booked a Careem ride to get vaccinated. Some customers also shared that they were having trouble finding the latest, official information.

“We are constantly looking at data at Careem, and trying to understand what our customers are doing and how we can help tackle their biggest pain points,” Alnahlaoui said. “As you can imagine, right now, Covid-19 is at the top of everyone’s mind, along with finding information that is relevant to their needs. People are always seeking the latest updates, so we decided to play a role in making this process simpler for them.”

To support the national vaccination efforts, Careem created a special dedicated squad including product managers, designers, and engineers to build the world’s first vaccination transport feature in an app. Due to most of the vaccination sites being newly established and not yet appearing on maps, Careem set out to pinpoint the location, phone number and operating hours of each site and built that information into the new tool.

Alnahlaoui described the task of reaching out to all the relevant medical and healthcare authorities to curate the latest information, as putting together a very “long list.” The biggest challenge, he said, revolved around making sure that the information on the app remains updated.

“There are some centres that are only providing the vaccines for the elderly, there are some that are only offering the second shot, so we have to do our best to get this information to residents that are looking for it. Also, this is not a one-time thing for us; this is a live feature that requires us to stay updated. We want to make it as easy as possible for residents to get in touch with the closest centre and book an appointment for their vaccination– we want to help facilitate the process of you getting there and getting back safely,” he said.

The feature, he added, will slowly be expanded to the remaining three emirates as well. “We are also keeping a very close eye on performance and feedback, and will continue to improve the feature as we see fit; our aim is not just to offer this feature across the rest of the UAE, but the region as well.”

He also revealed that Careem has plans to introduce a similar option for PCR tests. “PCR tests are not going to disappear anytime soon. We know that there is a need for information about centres where you can get a PCR test done if you want to travel or attend an important event. Our plan is to have something similar where you can find the closest testing centre and get information on timings, prices, and bookings. We are looking into helping out wherever we can.”

Careem users across the UAE will find the new ‘Get vaccinated’ tool in their app home screen below the tiles for Careem’s other rides, bikes, food, cleaning and delivery services. Any user in the UAE who does not yet see the tool can simply download the newest version of Careem on the Apple App Store or Google Play.

rohma@khaleejtimes.com

author

Rohma Sadaqat

I am a reporter and sub-editor on the Business desk at Khaleej Times. I mainly cover and write articles on the UAE's retail, hospitality, travel, and tourism sectors.Originally from Lahore, I have been living in the UAE for more than 20 years. I graduated with a BA in Mass Communication, with a concentration in Journalism, and a double minor in History and International Studies from the American University of Sharjah.If you see me out and about on assignment in Dubai, feel free to stop me, say hello, and we can chat about the latest kitten videos on YouTube.





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