Uber In Dubai Now Includes Yachts

Though it’s an officially discouraged practice among drivers, Uber has been burning rubber with ambitious partnerships and service expansions over the past few months. What happens when Uber runs out of road to innovate on, though?

It goes aquatic.

Uber confirmed to CNN on Friday (April 29) that it would embark on a new venture in Dubai over the weekend where a chartered yacht will ferry a lucky dozen riders through the Middle Eastern city’s waterways. The one-time service — aptly named UberYACHT — will also feature “music provided by Nikki Beach DJs, unlimited beverages and iconic views of Dubai’s shore, skyline and beyond.”

Chris Free, Uber’s general manager in the United Arab Emirates, told CNN that, despite the gimmicky feel of the UberYACHT event, it fits into what the ride-hailing company has been moving toward.

“At Uber, we are constantly innovating our services,” Free said. “We want to be more than just a leading global technology app; we want to provide experiences at the push of a button.”

Despite the company’s reputation for less-than-wallet-friendly surge hikes, a ride on the UberYACHT seems to be a steal. Users in Dubai were able to book groups of up to four directly through the Uber app, with spots going for about $82 each. UberYACHT is hardly the company’s most outlandish promotion yet or even the most outlandish yet done in the UAE, as Free touted how the UberYACHT experience would deliver “the same level of convenience, reliability and accessibility” that riders came to expect from the UberCHOPPER event it ran in Dubai last year and in Southern California this year for the Coachella music festival.

While UberYACHT may have filled up with passengers, there’s no word yet on whether the captain and first mate will be thrown overboard for anything less than a 4.7 star review.


New PYMNTS Report: Preventing Financial Crimes Playbook – July 2020 

Call it the great tug-of-war. Fraudsters are teaming up to form elaborate rings that work in sync to launch account takeovers. Chris Tremont, EVP at Radius Bank, tells PYMNTS that financial institutions (FIs) can beat such highly organized fraudsters at their own game. In the July 2020 Preventing Financial Crimes Playbook, Tremont lays out how.

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