Talabat vs Careem: Which is Better for Your Restaurant in UAE

talabat vs careem

The food business market is changing and it is happening all around the globe and UAE is no different. Reports suggest that by the end of this year, the UAE online food delivery segment will cross the US$2.18bn mark and will be at a record-high growth rate of 6.33% (CAGR 2022-2026). With the increasing demand for home delivery, the food delivery business has grown bigger and there are now ample food delivery apps that are making it easier for restaurants to deliver their good to customers.

Customers are becoming more aware and demanding than ever and this has influenced restaurant owners to work better and harder to reach the benchmarks partnering with a food aggregator app is one of the steps being taken. As the demand for food delivery options is at its peak, there are ample deserving food delivery apps in the UAE to complement that and offer the right delivery options. Two such major food delivery companies in the UAE are Talabat and Careem. Whether it is about the efficiency of the delivery chain or the frequency of orders being delivered, both companies give handsome competition to one another and hence are always compared by the users as well as the restaurant owners.

This post shares a comparison between the two food delivery companies in UAE in the aspect of quality of services, popularity, delivery network, and more. Whether you are a restaurant looking for the best food delivery service partner or a customer confused between the two apps, this post will help you know key details about the two options and make an informed decision.


Talabat was founded in Kuwait in 2004 and is one of the leading food delivery companies in the region to date. It covers a major part of the geographical region including Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Qatar, Jordan, Egypt, and Iraq. From absorbing Delivery Hero to becoming the featured app in the Huawei marketplace and becoming the official food delivery provider for Expo 2020, Talabat has achieved several milestones on its way to the top.

Talabat employs more than 16000 employees actively delivering food in different cities of the UAE including Ajman, Dubai, Al Ain, Sharjah, Fujairah, Abu Dhabi, Ras Al Khaimah, and Umm Al-Quwain. The company has a website as well as applications available on the Play store, App store, and AppGallery. Besides food, Talabat also delivers groceries, flowers, and health and wellness supplies. It offers an excellent opportunity to restaurant owners to expand their reach and cater to more customers.


Careem is a Dubai-based food delivery app that is actively operating in more than 100 cities in 12+ countries across the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia regions. It was founded on March 2012 and in just 10 years, has grown to be a very profitable company in an already very highly competitive marketplace.

Careem launched its food delivery app in 2018 and then in 2020, it started offering services for Uber Eats as well, when the latter decide to exit the UAE. Careem has a powerful delivery network with 1+ million captains & and Captinahs (that’s what they call their delivery partners) and leaders who are experts in their fields. The company offers rides, recharge, money transfer, and shopping facilities besides the food delivery business.

Talabat Vs. Careem: a quick comparison

Particulars Talabat Careem
Delivery Speed 25-30 minutes 30-50 minutes
Delivery quality Excellent Excellent
Pricing Delivery charges are included Delivery charges are included and a bit on the higher side
App usability User-friendly User-friendly with a menu divided into sections for user comfort

Detailed comparison of Talabat Vs. Careem

Food delivery

It is important for your restaurant to partner with a food delivery partner that offers speedy food deliveries. This not only means you will be earning loyal customers but also means that you will be covering more areas in less time. Now, when we compare Talabat & Careem, what we find is that Careem takes some extra time than most of the food delivery apps in the UAE, including Talabat. While Talabat takes around 25-30 minutes on average to deliver an order, Careem takes 30-50 minutes for the same order and distance.

Delivery quality

Delivery quality covers all aspects of the delivery including its packaging, transport, delivery timing as well as the delivery agent’s behavior towards the customers. While both Talabat and Careem are very serious about the packaging of food and maintaining high hygiene and food safety measures, it is Talabat that pays more attention to delivering quality in terms of timing, transport, and delivery agent manners. They have an extensive training program in place which every delivery agent has to undergo while joining them. Careem does provide training but it is a little below the mark.


Talabat and Careem have a pricing difference as well which comes from the addition of delivery charges. This is where Careem beats Talabat as it offers the cheapest pricing among all other food delivery apps in UAE. They also offer all sorts of promotional offers which decreases the price of the order further by 10-30%. No doubt pricing is the biggest factor that customers consider when choosing a delivery app and if you want more customers for your restaurant in UAE, you must prefer Careem over Talabat.

App Usability

App usability makes a significant difference when it comes to selection. The customers would choose an app that makes ordering food easy by offering categories, offers, filters to check prices, and much more. Also, the registration process for the app plays a significant role. Anyone would like a simple app with a quick registration, hassle-free ordering, and a payment process. Both Talabat and Careem are extraordinary in this aspect as they do their best to make their apps user-friendly. Moreover, they are easily available for free download. You can download Careem from the Play store, App store, and Android direct download whereas Talabat is available for download at the Play store, App store, and Huawei’s AppGallery.

Registration process

Both the food delivery apps offer a “become a Partner’ option on their website. As you click on the tab, you are directed to a page that has a form to fill out. The form contains several fields enquiring about your business details.

To contact Careem for business partnership inquiries, you will have to fill up a form and provide details like business name, country, city, number of outlets, and personal details like name, contact email, contact number, etc.

The form for Talabat includes store name, no of branches, store type, website/ social media address, and restaurant address along with personal details including name, email address, contact number, and your role in the business.

Talabat Vs. Careem: The Business Aspect

Let’s come to the core business details and compare the two leading food delivery apps in the UAE.


Talabat: Talabat does not have a flat commission model and it charges 15-25% of the order amount as a commission fee from the restaurant. However, if you exclusively partner with Talabat, you will get a deduction of 5-10% on commission charges.

Also, the commission differs based on a few factors including restaurant location, order frequency, reliance on the restaurant, etc.

Careem: Careem is a revolutionary company and it introduced its 0% commission feature in February last year. In this model, the app does not charge any commission but charges for payment costs on cashless transactions and a flat delivery fee instead.

Advertising costs

Advertising makes your business more visible and as the modern-day customer widely depends on food delivery apps, good advertising can earn you a lot of orders.

Talabat: Talabat is very concerned about restaurant advertising and they offer two types of advertising options: priority listing and banner ads. Banner ads post your restaurant at the top of the ad when the user is scrolling it whereas priority listing puts you on top of the restaurant list.

Careem: Careem has better exposure to a wider user base and the restaurants are advertised on a filter basis where you can choose to be on top by fulfilling the advertisement requirements.

Delivery costs

Delivery charges are important as the higher they go, the more your customer pays and chooses some other app or restaurant.

Talabat: Delivery charges for Talabat are varied based on factors like the distance from the restaurant and environmental conditions. However, there is a threshold, and ordering above it can make the order delivery free.

Careem: Careem charges a flat delivery charge to cover the cost of the delivery. However, it offers more promotional deals to the customers.

What’s the best for your restaurant; Talabat or Careem?

Which one to choose from the two leading food delivery apps in UAE is a tough decision and you must factor in all the aspects. We have mentioned all the crucial details about the two food delivery aggregators in the comparison post for you to evaluate and make an informed decision.

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