Pay hikes, lounge areas: UAE delivery companies improve riders' working conditions

Several major businesses took steps to increase employees' satisfaction, enhance safety during summer


Nasreen Abdulla

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Published: Thu 21 Jul 2022, 2:39 PM

Last updated: Sun 24 Jul 2022, 10:14 PM

Several delivery service companies across the UAE are improving their riders' pay and working conditions. This comes after a tough year for most delivery services, with many riders complaining of being underpaid and some refusing to work.

A leading online food delivery platform in the region, Talabat increased its rider earnings starting this month. They updated the distance pay of Dh0.2 per kilometre for drop-offs exceeding 2 kilometres and have arranged for riders to get their salaries twice a month instead of once.

The company has also launched lounge areas, air-conditioned touring buses, public refill stations and shaded rest areas with mist fans, among others, to ensure rider safety during the summer. In addition to this, Talabat is reminding its biker riders to take regular instantly approved breaks, hydrate throughout the day and check their tires.

Meanwhile, food delivery platform Deliveroo provides riders with maintenance support and basic first aid if and when needed through its multipurpose Roo Vans, which also function as a refreshment distribution network on the road.

The company is also working alongside restaurants and malls across the UAE to allow riders to have multiple touchpoints across different locations where they can stop for a refreshing beverage or a hearty meal. This is part of their ongoing Deliveroo Champions initiative launched in 2020, which sees Deliveroo partnering with restaurants every month to provide riders with free meals and refreshments for every order purchased by customers.

Deliveroo has also rolled out an initiative which awards riders so they can earn more. Based on various parameters, including the rider's performance and customer rating, all awarded riders receive financial benefits as a show of appreciation and recognition.

UAE brand Locale, which boasts a track record of zero deaths in the last ten years, is continuing its work to upskill its delivery riders and ensure their safety.

"Our drivers are cross-trained, so we get the best value out of them," said Ian Ohan, founder and CEO of Locale. "When they are not out doing deliveries, our riders are working at the store or manning some other part of our business. We are constantly upskilling them to offer a career path within our organisation."

The company also has a zero-tolerance policy for rash driving.

"If the riders drive rashly once, it is bound to happen again," he said. "We have an entire matrix that ensures that our food goes out on time. However, if the food is late coming out of our kitchen, the delivery is going to be late. It is as simple as that for us. We don't want our riders rushing to make the delivery happen at a certain time. I am a motorbike rider myself, and I understand the risk. We have a system in place where before going out on a delivery, the rider will read back the order and then make a vocal pledge I will drive safe."

Online food and grocery store YallaMarket pays its rider by the hour rather than by the kilometre.

"We pay our riders a fixed salary based on the hours they work," said Chandan Mittal. "We also pay them for their fuel and Salik. This helps riders to stay motivated. Currently, 85% of our delivery happens in 15 minutes. We are proud of our riders who help us achieve this."

Yallamarket, which began operating in Dubai this year, has seven dark stores and assigns riders to fixed delivery zones.


Another homegrown on-demand express delivery solutions provider Motoboy Delivery Services also has rider welfare at the heart of its functioning. The electric bike logistics solutions provider employs its staff of delivery riders, as opposed to hiring them from third-party providers, and gives them a fixed income, visa, medical insurance and the option to work full-time or part-time.

"Delivery riders work long hours for minimum wage and the majority of their income is commission-based," said Farid Dallal, Founder and CEO of Motoboy.

"They bear a large amount of costs and then have to use the remainder of their earnings to support their families in their native countries. With only a small portion being saved, riders are unable to improve their living standards despite all the hard work they do. At Motoboy, we wanted to ensure our couriers are given equal opportunity to earn a steady income and have focused our business model on an employee-centric approach."

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