Uber on Tuesday announced a strategic partnership with Dubai Airports, to improve riders’ on-ground commute experience when arriving in Dubai.

The partnership comes in preparation to meet the growing operational needs in Dubai, as tourist arrivals in the city peak this winter.

Uber has also launched its latest innovative travel feature, Smart Itineraries. Once riders link their Uber profiles with their Google account by clicking on ‘Travel’ in the app, it displays upcoming travel plans and allows people to reserve an Uber to and from specific locations based on hotel and flight bookings, making the travel experience even more seamless. Smart Itineraries is part of the Uber Travel Suite of Offerings globally, with a range of features expected to launch in the region soon.

Pia El Hachem, general manager, Uber UAE and Levant, said: “Our mission at Uber is to help people move around their cities more seamlessly. This partnership with Dubai Airports and the launch of Uber Travel will streamline the traveling experience for tourists and residents alike by making stress-free and reliable transportation more accessible and easier to use. We will continue to expand our services to accommodate increasing travel needs, through the power of our technology.”

Uber’s new vehicle staging area at Dubai International (DXB) will hold over 125 vehicles, allowing for a short estimated time of arrival (ETA) for passengers at the pick-up zone. As part of the partnership, Uber and Dubai Airports will be increasing pick-up zones capacity in all terminals, including twelve parking bays, and in-terminal wayfinding. According to the International Air Transport Association, airlines in the Middle East have continued to see strong demand with passenger traffic more than doubling in September compared to a year earlier. The partnership is particularly relevant for residents who travel within the GCC frequently, as well as expats who go back and forth between Dubai and their home country.

Eugene Barry, executive vice-president of Commercial at Dubai Airports, said: “As operator of the world’s busiest international airport, and gateway to one of the world’s most vibrant cities and destinations, we are at the forefront of convergent consumer needs and traveler expectations. Dubai Airports partnership with Uber is designed to enhance the degree of service and convenience for our guests, while complementing our existing range of ground transport options to and from DXB.”

Recent government data revealed that tourism arrivals in Dubai have bounced back to near pre-pandemic levels with the city receiving more than 10 million visitors from January to September 2022, compared to 12.08 million in the same period of 2019. DXB is the world’s busiest airport for international passenger traffic, and is anticipated to be a major regional hotspot with travel picking up in the coming months. It recently raised its 2022 passenger forecast to over 64 million, having already welcomed 46 million passengers this year.