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Thursday, 22 March 2018

Mother’s Day celebrations and the unfolding Uber, Careem drama

The talking heads fixated almost exclusively on Mother’s Day celebrations yesterday with back-to-back coverage of the “Mothers of the Year” ceremony, during which President Abdel Fattah El Sisi honored 42 women. The drama unfolding over the suspension of Uber and Careem’s services also earned some airtime.

Cabinet spokesman Ashraf Sultan clued in Kol Youm’s Amr Adib to the Ride-Hailing Apps Act after the host repeated the previous night’s calls for the government to step in and shield the ride-hailing apps from the ongoing witch hunt (we have updates in Speed Round, below). After significant pestering from Adib on how these apps managed to operate for so long if they are illegal, Sultan said they had been operating as part of the informal economy and that the government began drafting the Act once the companies proved their worth (watch, runtime: 7:35). Sultan had a similar conversation with Al Hayah Al Youm’s Tamer Amin (watch, runtime: 4:45).

Regular taxi drivers should wake up and smell the coffee and realize that they are responsible for their waning popularity — and should take proactive measures to make their service more appealing than that of Uber and Careem to win back the business they have lost, Amin said (watch, runtime: 5:38). We couldn’t agree more.

Meanwhile, Masaa DMC’s Osama Kamal suggested that the law should be forward-looking and cover water and air transportation. Council of State legislation committee member Abdelrazek Mahran pointed out to the host that the bill — which is already on its way to Parliament — would require significant amendments to accommodate his suggestions. Mahran also suggested that the government is trying to act fast to issue the law in light of recent developments (watch, runtime: 11:20).

News reports that Egypt saw a 39% y-o-y surge in British tourist arrivals this year had Amr Adib bouncing in his chair and proudly pointing to Egypt’s low prices in comparison to Spain and Turkey (watch, runtime: 4:50).

Startup Bermoda trumped competitors Yadoctory and Amgad on the CIB-sponsored Hona Al Shabab contest. Bermoda walked out with EGP 100k in prize funding from CIB, while Yadoctory and Amgad came in second and third, respectively.

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