Berlin-based Circ is the first regulator-approved to deploy e-scooters in the UAE and broader Middle East as Abu Dhabi seeks to diversify transport options in the city, reports Arabian Business.
Abu Dhabi’s Integrated Transport Centre (ITC), which last month said it was piloting e-scooter rentals for use on pedestrian and cycle paths in a bid to reduce traffic, revealed that Circ has now been licensed.
Abdullah Alaryani, director of Traffic Studies Department at the Integrated Transport Centre, said: “This service... enables members of the community to reach their final destination in a fast and economical way as e-scooters are an effective, easy and environmentally friendly means of transport for short daily work and entertainment commutes. It also links easily to public transport busses and commercial centres, as well as residential and recreational areas.”
Alaryani added that local and international companies wishing to engage in e-scooter services in Abu Dhabi can do so by obtaining the necessary licence and no objection certificates from the ITC and other concerned parties.
Companies will be able to offer services on pedestrian and cycle paths during the first phase that includes the Corniche and Khalifa Street in Abu Dhabi.
Circ e-scooters are placed near public transport stops and frequent mobility sites to facilitate multi-modal journeys and reduce traffic congestion from private vehicles.
Jaideep Dhanoa, Circ MENA co-founder and CEO, said: “The growing need for micro-mobility transport solutions in the UAE and wider Middle Eastern region underscores the need for light, diverse and sustainable mobility solutions. In the first month of operations we have seen thousands of consumers enjoying our service.”
The design of the e-scooters, customised to tolerate the GCC road and weather conditions, feature larger wheels and a wider base for better stability and control.
Circ’s scooters are also equipped with a phone holder and bag holder. The company also offers comprehensive insurance for all rides, including personal accident, third party liability and product liability coverage.
He added that there have been no incidents reported among users of the scooters in Abu Dhabi since their launch.
Prior to a ban in Dubai, California-based Qwikly offered e-scooters for AED3 to unlock and 50 fils per minute to run.
In July 2018, Uber signed a partnership with e-scooter leader Lime to allow users to rent the vehicles directly through the ride-hailing app.
Cities such as San Francisco, Paris and Copenhagen have allowed people to hire e-scooters in a similar way to city bicycles. The French government last year introduced a €135 fine for riding the vehicle on the pavement and €35 for disruptive parking.