Egypt court suspends Uber, Careem licenses — judicial sources

The Uber logo is seen outside the Uber Corporate Headquarters building in San Francisco, California. (AFP)
Updated 20 March 2018

Egypt court suspends Uber, Careem licenses — judicial sources

CAIRO: An Egyptian court ordered the suspension of licenses for ride-hailing companies Uber and Careem on Tuesday, ruling on a lawsuit filed by taxi drivers seeking to shut down the two firms’ operations in the country, judicial sources said.
Forty-two Egyptian taxi drivers filed suit a year ago against the two companies, arguing that they were illegally using private cars as taxis and that they were registered as a call center and an Internet company, respectively.
Khaled Al-Gammal, a lawyer acting for the taxi drivers, said the court suspended the two companies’ licenses, banned their apps and suspended the use of private cars by the two ride-hailing services.
Tuesday’s decision was effective immediately, meaning the companies must suspend services pending a final ruling, but the companies have 60 days to appeal, the judicial sources said. It was not immediately clear when a final ruling would be issued.
Careem, a Dubai-based competitor to Uber, said it had not yet received any official request to stop operations in Egypt, and continued to operate as normal.
Uber intends to appeal any court decision to suspend ride sharing licenses in Egypt, a source familiar with the matter said. Uber had not been officially informed of the ruling, the source said.
Uber said last year it was committed to Egypt despite challenges presented by sweeping economic reforms and record inflation. Uber in October announced $20 million of investment in its new support center in Cairo.
The San Francisco-based company has had to make deals with local car dealerships to provide its drivers with affordable vehicles and adjust its ride prices to ensure its workers were not hit too hard by inflation.
Uber had two million users in Egypt in 2016, giving jobs to 60,000 drivers, it said.
Egypt is one of Uber’s fastest-growing markets, its general manager in the country, Abdellatif Waked, has said, according to state news agency MENA.
Egypt’s investment ministry said last year a draft law regulating web-based transport services would provide a legal framework for companies like Uber, but did not say when that bill was likely to be passed.
Uber has faced regulatory and legal setbacks around the world amid opposition from traditional taxi services. It has been forced to quit several countries, such as Denmark and Hungary.
Last year, London deemed Uber unfit to run a taxi service and stripped it of its license to operate. Uber is appealing against the decision.

Saudi Arabia has lion’s share of regional philanthropy

Updated 26 April 2018

Saudi Arabia has lion’s share of regional philanthropy

  • Kingdom is home to three quarters of region's foundations
  • Combined asets of global foundations is $1.5 trillion

Nearly three quarters of philanthropic foundations in the Middle East are concentrated in Saudi Arabia, according to a new report.

The study, conducted by researchers at Harvard Kennedy School’s Hauser Institute with funding from Swiss bank UBS, also found that resources were highly concentrated in certain areas with education the most popular area for investment globally.

That trend was best illustrated in the Kingdom, where education ranked first among the target areas of local foundations.

While the combined assets of the world’s foundations are estimated at close to $1.5 trillion, half have no paid staff and small budgets of under $1 million. In fact, 90 percent of identified foundations have assets of less than $10 million, according to the Global Philanthropy Report. 

Developed over three years with inputs from twenty research teams across nineteen countries and Hong Kong, the report highlights the magnitude of global philanthropic investment.

A rapidly growing number of philanthropists are establishing foundations and institutions to focus, practice, and amplify these investments, said the report.

In recent years, philanthropy has witnessed a major shift. Wealthy individuals, families, and corporations are looking to give more, to give more strategically, and to increase the impact of their social investments.

Organizations such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation have become increasingly high profile — but at the same time, some governments, including India and China, have sought to limit the spread of cross-border philanthropy in certain sectors.

As the world is falling well short of raising the $ 5-7 trillion of annual investment needed to achieve the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, UBS sees the report findings as a call for philanthropists to work together to scale their impact.

Understanding this need for collaboration, UBS has established a global community where philanthropists can work together to drive sustainable impact.

Established in 2015 and with over 400 members, the Global Philanthropists Community hosted by UBS is the world’s largest private network exclusively for philanthropists and social investors, facilitating collaboration and sharing of best practices.

Josef Stadler, head of ultra high net worth wealth, UBS Global Management, said: “This report takes a much-needed step toward understanding global philanthropy so that, collectively, we might shape a more strategic and collaborative future, with philanthropists leading the way toward solving the great challenges of our time.”

This week Saudi Arabia said it would provide an additional $100 million of humanitarian aid in Syria, through the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center.

The UAE also this week said it had contributed $192 million to a housing project in Afghanistan through the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development.