Uber announced that it will expand its ride-hailing service in the UAE emirate of Sharjah on Tuesday.
Riders in Sharjah will be able to access UberSelect, the brand’s most affordable option.
The launch comes as ride-hailing services suffer from a coronavirus downturn as riders opt to stay at home rather than travel as frequently as prior to the pandemic following a broad lockdown that kept many cities completely closed for any kind of travel.
“We’ve seen the benefits of rapid technology adoption and improved access to transportation in the region. COVID-19 has presented unprecedented challenges, but as we work towards accelerating recovery, we’re focusing on our strengths,” Rifad Mahasneh, general manager, GCC & Levant at Uber MENA said in a statement.
In the statement, Uber noted that it has “rolled out enhanced safety features” to help ensure that drivers and passengers remain safe amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Some of the measures include mandating mask wearing for passengers and drivers, regular sanitization of the car, and availability of hand sanitizer for riders.
Earlier this year in late-June, Careem, a Middle Eastern unit of Uber, said that it did not expect demand to recover to pre-coronavirus levels until “sometime” in 2021.
In May, Saudi Arabia also announced governmental support for Saudi nationals working as drivers for Uber and Careem and whose income was hit by COVID-19.