Uber has decided to pull the plug on its food delivery service, Uber Eats, in Egypt. Apart from Egypt, Uber Eats will also cease operating in Saudi Arabia, and in the United Arab Emirates, Uber Eats will be merged with Careem.

The announcement comes as a bit of a surprise given how during the global coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, e-commerce, and food delivery services appear to have been well-positioned to benefit from the imposed lockdowns. Uber Eats will cease operations in Egypt on Monday 18 May 2020.

β€œThis will also allow us to commit further energy and resources on our top Eats markets around the world. Looking ahead, we remain committed to growing and investing in Uber’s mobility platform in the Middle East,” said an Uber spokesperson.

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Good fortunes for Uber Eats in South Africa

The situation for Uber Eats in South Africa is quite the opposite to what is happening in Egypt. Although initially when South Africa commenced its nationwide lockdown on 26 March 2020 it meant that all restaurants and food delivery services were prohibited, within a few weeks Uber Eats was permitted to sell and deliver essential products.

Last week, Uber Eats in South Africa entered into a partnership to start selling books with Exclusive Books.

Uber looks to buy GrubHub

Looking elsewhere, earlier this week rumors have been circling that Uber has put in a bid to acquire another prominent and growing food delivery company, GrubHub. When the rumors started being reported on Monday 11 May 2020, GrubHub's stock jumped 8% leading to its trading being halted temporarily.

However, the possible acquisition of GrubHub by Uber has not been met positively by everyone.

In the USA, Uber and GrubHub are both the 2nd and 3rd largest food delivery services behind DoorDash. As such, the acquisition is being seen a predatory move by Uber to capitalize on the rise in popularity of food delivery services.

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