The demand for pet taxis in the UAE is growing due to an increase in pet ownership and pet-friendly establishments, fuelled by the region’s increased population growth as well as the expansion of the pet community, pet taxi startup Chauf-fur’s co-founder Nader Moursi.
Pet taxis, which cater to necessities like vet visits and daycare trips as well as social outings, has seen its highest demand during the winter months, according to Moursi.
“When it comes to the demand for pet taxis in the UAE, there are two primary categories of rides. The first encompasses necessities such as vet visits, airport trips, and daycare drop-offs/pickups. The second type, the social ride, reflects the growing pet-friendly landscape in the UAE. During the winter months (namely November to March), there’s a noticeable surge in demand for pet taxis, driven by an increase in social outings. These range from visits to pet-friendly restaurants and exploring new areas to trips to friends’ houses,” he said.
However, the demand remains relatively “surprisingly” stable during the summer, Moursi said, adding that although social trips may decrease, there is a “concurrent rise in day-care trips as owners seek air-conditioned options for their fur babies to expend their energy.”
Pet ownership, which has increased 30 percent in the UAE during the COVID-19 pandemic, is currently worth $300 million and is expected to reach $2 billion by 2025, according to a report by Globalpetindustry.com.
Data in the report showed that there are estimated to be 1.5 million pet owners and over 2 million pets in the UAE, mainly dogs and cats, with increased pet ownership among young singles and seniors, fuelling growth of the pet care industry.
Given this data, Chauf-fur’s Moursi explained that peak demand coincides with work/school hours as many rely on the company’s services for day-care drop-offs/pickups.
“In the UAE, the demand for pet taxis has significantly grown, mirroring the expansion of the pet community in general,” he said, adding that the rise of pet-friendly venues, including cafes and co-working spaces (especially across Dubai), “has allowed pet owners to seamlessly integrate their furry companions into their day-to-day activities.”
What are the rates for pet taxis during peak times in the UAE?
Rates are standardised across UAE and based on distance with all factors included in single price. Special rates are offered, Chaf-fur’s second co-founder Omar Aboushady said.
“The fare is based on the distance travelled, with factors such as location, pet type, number of pets/people/luggage all included in a single price. Ensuring utmost safety, every ride is facilitated by a trained pet handler, and each car is priced the same for consistency. Safety is never compromised, and their set prices ensure fairness for everyone,” he said.
Pricing is consistent for all vehicles regardless of these factors, so safety is never jeopardised and the model provides fairness, he explained adding that there is also a “noticeable shift” among pet owners when seeking pet care.
“They seek a safe, reliable service that ensures their pets not only travel securely but also enjoy their experience. Understanding that pets are family, the co-founders prioritise safety, cleanliness, and pleasant experiences, reflecting their commitment to the well-being of every fur-baby. They would not travel in a dirty, old, or unsafe car, and they certainly would never allow any animal to do so either,” he said.
As per Chauf-fur’s website, these are the current prices for availing of a pet taxi in the region.
|One way (within Dubai | 0-10 Km) One way (within Dubai | 10-20 Km) One way (within Dubai | 20-30 Km) One way (within Dubai | 30-40 Km) One way (within Dubai | 40-50 Km) One way (within Dubai | 50-60 Km) One way (within Dubai | 60 Km and above) Two ways (within Dubai + waiting time | 0-10 Km) Two ways (within Dubai + waiting time | 10-20 Km) Two ways (within Dubai + waiting time | 20-30 Km) Two ways (within Dubai + waiting time | 30-40 Km) Two ways (within Dubai + waiting time | 40-50 Km) Two ways (within Dubai + waiting time | 50-60 Km)Two ways (within Dubai + waiting time | 60 Km and above)
|To the Airport
|DXB Airport (normal working hours – 7 AM to 12 AM) DXB Airport (outside working hours – 12 AM to 7 AM) AUH Airport (normal working hours – 7 AM to 12 AMm) AUH Airport (outside working hours – 12 AM to 7 AM)
|One way (Dubai-Sharjah) Two ways (Dubai-Sharjah + waiting time) One way (Dubai-Ajman/UAQ) Two ways (Dubai-Ajman/UAQ + waiting time) One way (Dubai-RAK/Fujairah) Two ways (Dubai-RAK/Fujairah + waiting time) One way (Dubai-Abu Dhabi City/Al Ain) Two ways (Dubai-Abu Dhabi City/Al Ain + waiting time)
|Paw 1000 Package (AED1,200 credit) Paw 3000 Package (AED3,750 credit) Paw 5000 Package (AED6,500 credit)
Dubai, Abu Dhabi see ‘highest demand’ for pet taxis
Dubai and Abu Dhabi have the highest demand for pet transportation services across the UAE, according to Chaf-fur’s third co-founder Wael Hassan.
Within Dubai, which has substantial pet-friendly locations, demand is greatest, Hassan said, adding “a recent trend we are loving is the increase in pet owners exploring staycations in other Emirates like RAK and UAQ. The surge in pet-friendly accommodations in Ras Al Khaimah and Umm Al Quwain has resulted in Chauf-fur driving to these Emirates most weekends in winter to drop off and pick up our customers. We always hear about the fur babies enjoying their time on pet-friendly beaches and they are always awake for the journey there and sound asleep for the return ride home.”
Within Dubai, demand stems from diverse areas but is consistently high year-round in places like The Greens, Jumeirah Lakes Towers, Springs and Dubai Production City.
Al Quoz leads for drop-offs, hosting the most daycare and boarding facilities, Hassan revealed adding that it would not be uncommon to see vehicles transporting pets in the area.
UAE pet relocation segment rapidly growing
Chauf-fur’s Hassan also explained that one of the fastest-growing segments of the UAE pet market recently is the pet relocation industry.
According to him, there has been a continual surge in the import of dogs and cats into the country, especially major expat destinations like Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
“As a pet taxi company, we observed a high demand for airport rides, and customers frequently sought our recommendations for trusted relocation companies. Notably, Etihad, the national airline of Abu Dhabi, amended its policies to begin allowing dogs to travel in the cabin (subject to destination regulations). This welcomed shift in policy reflects the changing landscape of pet transportation and highlights the growing importance of accommodating pet owners’ needs,” he concluded.