Go Careem!

Options, options, options! 
This line from a popular Filipino movie came to mind when I was writing about the taxi apps a few months ago. Suddenly, we get more than our share of options in commuting in Riyadh! It’s not easy and it’s certainly not easy to let our “commuting in Riyadh is dangerous” mentality go because surely, we still have that heightened alertness when we’re out in the public (commuting or not) but sometimes, it’s not always true that we have no choice. We always have a choice. Sometimes, choiceS. And now, options are made available to us when our fathers, husbands, and brothers cannot drive us to places we want to go to. So at least our frustrations are kept to a minimum. Haha! So let’s see, there’s Easy Taxi and Smart Taxi which uses the regular cabs. And there’s Uber that uses private cars and another… Careem, the online chaffeur-driven service in the Middle East.
The Careem website

I first knew of Careem when I was researching for the taxi apps article (remember that I mentioned it in this article?) but I didn’t get the chance to try it before I went home to the Philippines for a two-month hiatus. I got back in the Kingdom two weeks ago and in one of those days, I got the chance to use the Careem app.

The Careem mobile app (iOS)
The Careem mobile app is nicely designed mainly using an eye-popping color of yellow green and blue. Careem, a private car booking service, is available in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Doha, Karachi, Boston, San Francisco, and now… Riyadh. Customers can now book a car, track their rides in real-time, pay with credit card, and receive receipts online.
So basically, Careem is like the taxi apps we’ve reviewed… with some perks. What sets Careem apart from others is the availability of booking a car beforehand, or at a certain hour when you need it. Also, you can book a car online, whenever you have an internet connection. No need to download the app. But, it’s also good to have the app in handy. Anyway, I used the iphone app when I first used Careem.
The Careem experience

Of course, I signed up first. Credit card is needed to use Careem. When I used my app, it opened to a panel that has four options: Book, Bookings, Rates, and Share. I clicked on Book and it took me to a page that defined my location. It tells me the number of Careem cars (34) within 10 km radius of where I am. Then it took me to a page where I can search the place where I want to go. But since I’m going to pick up my friend first, I decided to select the “I will guide the driver” option. The app then goes to find a Careem car. And finally, it does. It provides the driver’s name, how far away he is in terms of distance and time, and the kind of car he’s driving. No plate number though. There’s an option to call the driver. Once the driver is near, I received a text message informing me that he’s 1 minute away. And when he finally arrived, that’s when the plate number is revealed.

A black Lincoln car came to pick me up. I nearly burst out laughing… but not because of the car itself. After all, it was a luxury sedan. I found the car a bit funny because during that week I was obsessed in reading a series by writer Michael Connelly. It involved a defense attorney that works at the back of his… Lincoln car thus he was called the “Lincoln Lawyer”! Haha! Read the books when you have the chance, they’re good reads. Anyway, coincidence aside, I entered the car and found it clean. The driver was friendly and he drives nicely. I had to click on the “Next” option. An option to rate the driver while the trip is still ongoing pops up. After picking up my friend who lives nearby, we decided to go to Kingdom Mall. I paid SR 58 for this trip.
Bye, Mr. Lincoln! 🙂

I find Careem a bit more expensive than the other private car taxi app I’ve ridden. I’m not sure what decides their fare because it doesn’t provide a computation in their receipt but the fees are a bit higher. According to the website, their rates depend on distance and wait time. For example, from my house to my workplace, Careem charges me SR 40. The other taxi app only charges me SR 29. Also, after the experience I had above, I’ve tried Careem a few times already. While the cars look good outside, the insides are a bit shabby and old. The drivers are friendly though. One thing I like about Careem is that you can depend on their cars during rush hour. Whether it’s a busy time or not, Careem seems to always have a free car that can be booked. So that’s a major point.

So here goes another promo code for you, Riyadhizens! If you’re using Careem for the first time, try putting PT50 in the promo section during sign up and you’ll receive SR 50 free credits! Woot right?
Use PT50 when you sign up!

Here’s what you have to do to avail of this promo code:
1. Visit the Careem website at www.careem.com and click on SIGN UP at the top of the page.
2. Add personal details and click on Have a Promotion Code,
3. Enter PT50 and click on Sign U. You will receive a 50 SR free credit.
4. Add credit card details.
5. In the driver’s notes at the bottom, add PT50.
***Only the first 100 users would get this special offer.

It’s the perfect ride to the mall now that the Riyadh Shopping and Entertainment Festival has started! Learn what stores are already on sale from The Pink Tarha Facebook page. Then go! Enjoy a comfy ride with Careem!

Isn’t it a good thing that we have these options already? Of course we still advise that you take precautionary measures to ensure your safety… not just in Riyadh but anywhere you go. Enjoy the freedom, ladies! We all deserve it.


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The Editor-in-Chief speaks 7 languages: Filipino, English, Wit, Sarcasm, Truth, Creativity, and The Pink Tarha.

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