The UAE appeared on the list of Uber’s corruption scandal after revealing the illegal methods it used to penetrate specific markets by spending hundreds of thousands of dollars.
In cooperation with dozens of newspapers and international websites, documents published by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists showed that corruption relations between Uber extended to officials and influential people in Arab countries.
According to the documents, Uber has courted consumers and drivers and found allies in circles of power in various countries, including offering shares in the company as gifts to politicians or putting pressure on them or paying researchers to promote its economic model.
The documents indicated hundreds of thousands of dollars were spent on consultants and lobbyists in countries such as the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Jordan and Nigeria.
In the UAE, Uber sought to reach the ruler of Dubai and Prime Minister Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum through attempts to hold meetings first between its leaders and Minister Muhammad Abdullah Al-Gergawi.
In an email to the leaked documents, Uber public policy specialist Joanne Cuba said that in the UAE, the company had resorted to secret relationships with officials to “soften the image of Uber.”
The Uber platform has found itself mired in its past due to an investigation by journalists accusing the company of “breaking the law” and using violent methods to impose itself, despite the reservations of the policies and taxi companies.
The Guardian obtained about 124,000 documents dated from 2013 to 2017 and shared them with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, including emails and letters belonging to Uber managers at the time, as well as memos and invoices.
On Sunday, many media organizations, including the Washington Post, Le Monde and the BBC, published their first reports on the so-called “Uber Documents”.
These media outlets have highlighted some of Uber’s practices during its years of rapid expansion.
“The company has broken the law, deceived police and regulators, exploited violence against drivers, and secretly lobbied governments around the world,” the Guardian wrote.
The group had courted consumers and drivers and found allies in circles of power, such as Emmanuel Macron, who may have secretly helped the company when he was economy minister.
The Guardian noted that the startup may have also given some of its shares to politicians in Russia and Germany and paid researchers “hundreds of thousands of dollars to publish studies on the merits of its economic model.”