Hundreds of drivers aligned to US-based ride-hailing app Uber in Qatar went on a strike on Monday to protest against a reduction in fares.
This is the second time in a year when Uber drivers in the country went on such a strike.
Uber that began operations in Doha in 2014 recently cut fares by 15-20% for passengers to counter increasing competition from local firms.
The move was aimed at winning customers from local rivals in Qatar such as Careem.
Careem claims to have a larger market share than Uber in most of the 32 cities in the Middle East, North Africa and Pakistan region in which it operates.
Uber drivers in Doha stayed home on Monday to protest the cuts and an ‘upfront’ service launched by Uber in November that allows passengers to view the total fare before their journey.
According to the drivers, the ‘upfront’ offer is unfair. The drivers end up getting nothing if the cab gets stuck in traffic or passengers make extra stops during the journey, they said.
They also said if they are not treated well, and fares are not raised, they will move on to other ride-hailing platforms.
A Dubai-based Uber spokesman said that the firm is committed to dialogue with partner drivers.
Thousands of Indians, Nepalis and Ethiopians work as Uber drivers in wealthy Qatar where unions and labor protests are banned, and authorities penalize dissent with jail terms or immediate deportation.
This is not the only emerging market location where Uber is facing a problem with driver compensation.
In India, specifically, the capital city of New Delhi, Uber and Ola (a local rival) drivers have been on strike in the past 48 hours, while drivers in other cities have also threatened to follow suit.