When I first heard about Uber coming to this city after being in more than 70 countries including KSA and Dubai my first thought was yeah right, it’s not like we don’t have enough cabs in Beirut. And I’m always skeptical about a technology orientated service in Lebanon in general. But here’s the common misconception, Uber is not a taxi company, it’s actually a private chauffeured car service that allows you to arrange every little detail of your ride though the mobile app.
How it Works:
It’s 7:40 pm and I’m at Pacifico in Monot having some drinks. I’m supposed to meet a friend in Deek Duke Ashrafieh at 8pm. But I’m really not in the mood to go through the hassle of getting on the phone and ordering a Taxi and giving him detailed directions and then unknowingly waiting for his “missed” call and passing on the phone to someone so they can give the right directions. And…and… and… Oh and one more thing, I don’t have any cash on me.
Uber cuts to the chase, the app allows you to pinpoint your location on a map and in a matter of seconds you will spot the driver closest to you on the screen. You will be able to view his photo and his vehicle model and make. It will show you exactly where he is and how long he needs to get to you. In fact you will be able to track him on a map as he approaches you. So you know exactly when to meet him outside. The app will even send you a notification once he’s arrived.
Why I love it
First, it’s cashless. For someone who’s always out of cash, I can’t tell you how convenient and fast it is for me to just hop in and out of a ride without a money exchange. That and the fact that you know you’re getting a standard rate, no rip offs or extras depending on the driver’s mood. All you need is a credit card that will automatically be charged when the ride is complete. The prices are seriously competitive with an average ride in Beirut costing you around $6 to $7 only, so you’re basically being charged by kilometer and minute. If you’re traveling with a friend who’s also registered you can pick the Split Fare option, where the app allows you to both share the cost from your accounts.
After a night out until 3am we need a ride home. In a matter of minutes, a driver in a Volkswagen Passat arrived to pick us up and drop us home safely for just $6. No waiting on the road, no drunk driving.
It’s not a Taxi
What makes this service even more brilliant is that fact that the cars are not branded, so you don’t get the taxi ride feel, but rather, you get picked up by a private luxury car with an elegantly dressed and well-spoken driver who greets and drives you to your destination.
Don’t forget to use my promo code “IvySays” to get $25 credit of your first ride here’s how