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  • Philip Osadebay - Tech Journalist

Uber's rival Wheely launches in Dubai to challenge the leading player in the country

From sleek BMW 5 Series rides to the promise of sustainable travel with BMW's i5 electric variant. Wheely is set to revolutionize the way affluent travelers navigate Dubai's vibrant metropolis.

Wheely, a luxury ride-hailing service is set to make waves with its launches in Dubai. This expansion is seen as a strategic move to tap into Dubai's growing demand from affluent individuals and digital nomads.

Founded by Anton Chirkunov, a visionary entrepreneur with roots in both Russia and Switzerland, Wheely has gained attention for its commitment to providing top-notch service to affluent customers. With a focus on delivering a premium experience to that of elite brands like American Express' Centurion and Platinum membership credit cards, Wheely has carved out a niche in the competitive ride industry.

The decision to launch in Dubai comes at an important moment for Wheely. As the city continues to attract wealthy individuals and digital persons from around the globe, there is a growing demand for luxury transportation services that offer both comfort and sophistication. 

By introducing its fleet of BMW 5 Series cars, Wheely aims to cater to this affluent market segment while also signaling its commitment to sustainability by considering the adoption of BMW's i5 electric variant in the future.

Dubai's status as a thriving business hub and a melting pot of cultures makes it an ideal destination for Wheely's expansion. The city's vibrant economy, coupled with its reputation for luxury and opulence, presents a wealth of opportunities for the company to establish itself as the go-to choice for discerning travelers.

However, Wheely's entry into the Dubai market is not without its challenges. The city's ride is currently dominated by Uber-owned Careem, which offers a range of services including taxi rides, meal deliveries, and grocery shopping through its app. Despite facing struggles under Uber ownership, Careem remains a formidable competitor in the market, posing a significant obstacle to Wheely's ambitions.

Nevertheless, Wheely is confident in its ability to differentiate itself from the competition. By focusing on providing a premium service tailored to the needs of affluent customers. 

From trained chauffeurs who go the extra mile to ensure a memorable experience for passengers to personalized services such as flower collection and bespoke chauffeur training programs, Wheely is committed to setting new standards for luxury transportation in the city.

Moreover, Wheely's expansion into Dubai is part of a broader strategy to grow its presence on the global stage. Despite the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic, which saw a significant drop in demand for ride-hailing services, Wheely has rebounded strongly, reaching operational profitability in many markets. Buoyed by this success, the company is now setting its sights on further international expansion, with plans to enter the lucrative United States market in the near future.

With its focus on delivering a premium experience tailored to the needs of affluent customers and its commitment to innovation and sustainability, Wheely is well-positioned to thrive in Dubai's dynamic and competitive transportation economy.


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