Shared micromobility operator Lime is planning to launch in the Middle East over the next two years according to CEO Wayne Ting.
Lime currently runs e-scooter and e-bike rental schemes in more than 200 cities around the world and raised $523 million in investment at its latest funding round.
Based in California, the firm has permits in London, Paris, New York and San Francisco, having expanded into 80 new cities during 2021.
Looking ahead, Ting told CNBC that Lime is now running a small trial in Dubai and will then look to expand throughout the region.
“Our vision is to invest in the Gulf states,” he said.
“I’d love to bring something more permanent to Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and also look towards the rest of the Gulf, whether it’s Bahrain, or Qatar or even Saudi Arabia. We’re at the very, very beginning of investing in the region.”
Ting pointed to the new city of Neom in Saudi Arabia as a place with huge potential for micromobility.
“When you talk to people thinking about Neom, they’re saying, how do we build a city without cars?” he added.
“This is a huge core to our mission, which is building a transportation system that is different from today. When you talk to young people, they know when they look at their own carbon footprint that one of the biggest sources is from transportation and they’re demanding a change to their own behaviour. When I look at places with a big, young population, who are committed to the environment, those are perfect markets for what we’re building.”
Lime hopes to go public in 2022, with Ting explaining: “Whether or not it makes sense or not, we’re going to be looking at market conditions.”