Ride-sharing company Uber has confirmed its acquisition of Middle East ride-hailing company Careem for $3.1 billion.

Uber will acquire all of Careem’s mobility, delivery, and payments businesses across the greater Middle East region, ranging from Morocco to Pakistan, with major markets including Egypt, Jordan, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates.

The Dubai-based business, founded in 2012, will move its regional technology infrastructure under the Uber umbrella. Careem and Uber will operate their respective regional services and independent brands after the deal, which is expected to close in Q1 2020.

“This is an important moment for Uber as we continue to expand the strength of our platform around the world,” said Uber CEO, Dara Khosrowshahi.

“With a proven ability to develop innovative local solutions, Careem has played a key role in shaping the future of urban mobility across the Middle East, becoming one of the most successful startups in the region.

“Working closely with Careem’s founders, I’m confident we will deliver exceptional outcomes for riders, drivers, and cities, in this fast-moving part of the world.”

Both companies said the transaction will provide an opportunity to expand the variety and reliability of services offered at a broader range of price points to serve more consumers.

For drivers, the companies believe an increase in trip growth and improved services could provide better work opportunities as well as higher and more predictable earnings through greater utilisation of drivers’ time on the road.