This last weekend I attended the MRFC Oval ball at the Grand Hyatt and ended up in a friends room at the hotel for a bit of an after party. That was, until I remembered I have a 4yr old and a 2yr old and should really probably get home to bed. Now, at 3:30am, I thought it would be a great time to check out this new Marhaba taxi service that has the blue and white cars in the papers what seems like every day.
I'd previously installed the app, whilst at a brunch a few weekends before as it happened, but had not had cause to use it until early Saturday morning. I loaded up the app, and it shows you a map of where you are - it told me how many cars were available, and how long it'd take for them to get to me. It even offered me an option to get a fare estimate and all I had to do was type in the Way number of where I lived and it popped up right away with an estimate for me. Basically exactly like Uber.
Filled with a little bit of Dutch courage, I excitedly tapped the Ride Now button and then promptly returned to my previous activity which by the size of my headache when I woke up on Saturday morning was something to do with vodka. Almost as soon as I'd started this my phone rang which turned out to be the driver from Mahaba who wanted to know exactly where I was - head to the lobby for the Grand Hyatt I said, see you there.
And 2 minutes later, he rings again - he was waiting out front. I said my goodbyes and made my way to the lobby entrance and there it was - the blue and white Marhaba cab that took me home to Ghubra lake park. From what I remember about the trip, the car was clean, the driver was courteous, and the best bit was I didn't pay through the nose for this taxi ride home. Normally, you see, at 3:30 am on a weekend night a booze-fuelled cab ride home would cost me a tenner, but I have been noticing lately this seems to have been dropping to a fiver - but for the most part, I get stung hard - and its a sellers market at that time of the night. My charge was RO 3.750 - which was a base fare of RO 3, some waiting charges for waiting for me for 2 and a half minutes, and then a night charge as well.
Once I got dropped outside my house and had negotiated the intricacies of getting into my house and past the excited greeting from the dog whilst trying not to wake anyone up, I noticed I had an email on my phone. It turned out it was from Marhaba which included a full breakdown of my charges for the trip, a map of the route taken from start to finish and the name and a photo of the guy who dropped me home. The details of the trip are also stored in the app so you can look at them if you want.
Honestly, I couldn't recommend them enough. I'm sure like with all things, there have been a few bad experiences, but my experience, which is almost exclusively what I'll use it for (drunken rides home) was excellent. I've been poking about in the app (which is on both android and iphone) and have noticed you can add a credit card - so presumably you can even travel cashless too - which is handy to know. I can't decide what my favourite bit about them is - is it being able to order a cab and have them come right to me, which is something I really value. Or the fact that the pricing is fair and level for everyone - no more getting hosed because of the colour of my skin.
Have you tried Marhaba yet? Any observations?