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American Micromobility Unicorn Lime Launches Operations in Abu Dhabi

The controversial e-scooter startup adds Abu Dhabi as one of its 120 smart scooter cities around the world.

Global, US-based micromobility company, Lime, will officially begin operating in Abu Dhabi this weekend, aligning with UAE’s National Day. The company will place the scooters on the Corniche, where commercial rental of e-scooters was made legal in Abu Dhabi’s Khalifa Street. The startup is the second to offer the service in Abu Dhabi after European e-mobility startup, Circ launched their certified scooters last august.

As a pilot period, the company will conveniently place the scooters along the 8km waterfront. The pilot will run for six to twelve months, and speeds must not exceed 20km per hour. Additionally, the transport authority in Abu Dhabi did not set out pricing structures and only said the service should be at a nominal cost for users.

“Abu Dhabi is a great city for electric scooters and we’re really excited that it will be Lime’s first market in the GCC,” said Lime’s UAE General Manager Mohamad Nsouli, who joined the company after his departure from Careem.

In Abu Dhabi, users will be charged 3 dirhams to unlock the vehicle using their mobile GPS-enabled application that is used to locate the vehicles, and 1 dirham for each minute of scooter-use. Meanwhile in Dubai, the commercial renting of e-scooters was banned in March, though Dubai residents are free to use their own e-scooters at their own discretion and responsibility.

The San Francisco-headquartered startup-turned-unicorn, which operates in 120 cities, has been a consistent point of controversy, most significantly when a 24-year old man in Texas was found unresponsive with a Lime electric scooter broken in half 500 feet across from him. The use of electric scooters remains disputed, with many countries such as Singapore and France banning services in light of recurring accidents. Some cities across Europe and North America, however, have embraced the vehicle’s smart mobility solution.

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