There are ongoing conversations in the media about getting a taxi in Doha. The arguments revolve around an insufficient number of cabs and whether drivers frequently attempt to overcharge in order to make a living. There are also the private drivers who will stop and offer to take you to your destination for an agreed sum, usually more expensive than a conventional Karwa taxi.
Now adding a further option is Uber, the mobile app which helps you ‘get a taxi or private car from your mobile phone’. It’s now well used in cities across the USA and Europe. I only recently realised it was also available in Doha. I tried it for the first time last night, having registered with Uber a few days before.
Once you open the app, the Uber map screen shows all the available cars in the area in real time.
I identified my pick-up point and final destination. and requested a ride. Within 30 seconds I received confirmation that pick-up would be in three minutes. The screen showed the approaching vehicle on the map, counting down to arrival time. It also showed me the make and model of the car as well as a photograph of the driver.
The car arrived… it was clean, it was comfortable, and we we home in under 10 minutes.
No money changes hands other than the tip I gave the driver… it’s all paid via credit card.
A receipt came through by email almost as soon as we’d got out the car. It includes the route taken and the cost – which was 23.85QR, but a clever and cheap marketing ploy they round down to the nearest Riyal. For us it was free, as we used a first journey promo code of 40QR credit. If you intend to use Uber follow this link for your promo code http://www.uber.co/invite/gsbtb
The app allows you to rate the driver… I gave Biniam the full 5 stars…. I will use Uber again.