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Report

5 Apr 2022

Author:
Vani Saraswathi, Migrant-Rights.org

Rideshare platforms in Qatar: Big business, poor ethics

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Allegations

In Qatar, Uber requires that the drivers be sponsored by a limousine company and that their vehicles also be registered under a limousine company.

In fact, the drivers are exploited twice over – by being excluded from any labour protections by Uber and Careem, whose main relationship is with the limousine company, and denied the labour protections that technically exist by law, as a sponsored employee in Qatar...

The migrant drivers are unlikely to own their vehicles and even those who own vehicles, usually through mortgages paid to the sponsor, will have to pay a fee to their sponsoring limousine company, since Uber’s terms stipulate that the drivers in Qatar must be associated with a limousine company. The terms are different in Dubai and Abu Dhabi but just as exploitative – showing pragmatic flexibility in ensuring profits, but in complete denial of the price drivers pay for that...

Migrant-Rights.Org interviewed dozens of drivers from Nepal, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Kenya and Ghana, both individually and as informal groups, and their experiences are strikingly similar. The drivers all work in grey areas of the labour law, having the appearance of complete autonomy over the terms of their employment, though in reality, remaining inextricably linked to their sponsor.