Tech Unicorn Careem Launches in Iraq

Careem, the UAE-based ride-hailing tech company has now entered Iraq, with it’s first operations starting in Baghdad. Careem already has a presence in over 90 cities across the 13 countries in the region, which Careem calls ‘Broader Middle East’. The launch of Careem in Baghdad is being seen as a major milestone for the country and also for the company itself, with an aim to take advantage of the growing tech industry of this untapped market.

“Iraq is a centre of rich heritage”, says Careem’s CEO

Mudassir Sheikha, the CEO and Co-founder of Careem, commented on the launch of Careem services in Baghdad, stating “Launching the operation here is a key milestone”. He further said, “Iraq is a country with rich heritage and culture and bears a strategic importance in the region”. He also mentioned that, “The company is fully aware of the local challenges in Baghdad being a conflict zone, but the team at Careem has been working hard to overcome these challenges”.

Careem’s Corporate Social Responsibility Strategy is Well-Aligned with its Launch

Careem’s Corporate Social Responsibility portfolio reflects its endeavor to play its part for the well-being of society. The mission of Careem fulfills its promise to help people improve their lifestyle by providing jobs with a source of income.

Through its services in Iraq, Careem aims to simplify transportation for the citizens of Iraq and help create income-generating jobs. Careem believes they will be able to play its part in the restructuring of Iraq, making it one of the strongest economies in the Middle East again.

Careem’s Contribution to Iraq’s Tech Ecosystem

Ibrahim Manna, Careem’s Managing Director of Emerging Markets, stated that, “Careem would surely improve the lives of individuals and community in the region”. Apart from offering innovative, secure and tech-based transportation service to the residents, the company will start to recruit many 'Captains' - drivers who will benefit from this service. Careem hopes that by launching in Iraq, the brand will become a strong inspiring force for propelling more innovation in the coming years. The launch of Careem will no doubt encourage more regional tech businesses to enter the country, restoring the trust and confidence in investors.

Careem is not the only player in Iraq

Though the launch of Careem in Baghdad is major news, Careem is not actually the first and only ride-hailing service provider in Iraq. Taxify, an Estonia-based tech company, already launched its services in Iraq last year. Taxify claims to be the biggest ride-sharing ecosystem in Europe and launched its operations in Iraq in view of its market potential. There are also a number of locally established taxi apps who now have to compete with these bigger players.

The final thought

The launch of international tech businesses in Iraq clearly highlights the growing investor confidence and appetite. Companies like Careem give a green signal to foreign investors, startups and businesses to enter Iraq and finally begin the rebuilding porcess.


sana naz is a business management academic with corporate sector experience. Sana has been writing for over six years now fand is a keen blogger!

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