The tens of thousands of UAE residents who have been stuck abroad due to the coronavirus pandemic will be welcomed with a free trip from the airport once they return to the country, according to ride-hailing app Uber and payments firm Mastercard.
A total of 120,000 free trips to passengers, as well as meals to supporting communities, are being planned for beneficiaries across the Middle East and Africa (MEA).
The coronavirus pandemic has financially impacted millions of people around the world, particularly those that have lost their jobs or had their monthly incomes cut. Several UAE residents who left the country prior to the lockdown have also been stuck overseas for months.
According to Anthony le Roux, regional manager for Uber, Middle East and Africa, their free transport service will provide a warm welcome to returning residents, as soon as they’re finally able to book a trip back to the country.
“Kicking off the partnership in the Middle East with free trips for residents in the UAE is a heart-warming ‘welcome home’ for the tens of thousands of residents who have been stuck abroad, away from loved ones for many months and have been severely impacted by the pandemic,” le Roux said.
Uber also said in the statement that it is using its technology and making available their wide network of drivers to ensure cities have a reliable and efficient way of getting around.
The technology company has shared relevant health information with drivers to ensure they are well-informed in coronavirus-related safety protocols and have been provided with masks and sanitiser reimbursements.
Mastercard also said it is applying its “technology, philanthropy and data science expertise” to rebuild communities and ensure that economic growth is inclusive.
(Writing by Cleofe Maceda; editing by Seban Scaria)
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