Fetchr NOW brings package delivery, courier options to Dubai

A new package delivery service called Fetchr NOW is bringing new opportunities to Dubai residents.

The company has rolled out the new service app in Dubai and plans to expand it to places like Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain in the near future, an Aug. 29 press release said.

Essentially, Fetchr NOW is a delivery service, and for less than $11, customers can get packages delivered anywhere in the city or the service can "fetch" nearly anything that a customer wants that's available on the local market.

“We’re almost like your personal butler.” Fetchr co-founder Joy Ajlouny told the Gulf News Journal last week. “The best way to describe us is Taskrabbit meets Uber.”

“What we beat everybody on is time.” Ajlouny said, explaining why the company doesn't have to compete with a host of other courier services. Using GPS and existing fleets, Fetchr can guarantee that there will be someone in the field able to drive to the customer’s location within a certain time frame, Ajlouny said.

Ajlouny worked in Silicon Valley before starting Fetchr  with co-founder Idriss Al-Rifai. Her prior company, an e-commerce platform called Bonfaire, was acquired, and Ajlouny realize that although the American market was, as she put it, oversaturated with e-commerce, there were big opportunities in emerging markets.

“This is where the growth is for e-commerce,” Ajlouny said, explaining that in the Middle East, package delivery is difficult. Ajlouny described a system where package recipients often have to spend a lot of time on the phone with delivery drivers.

Package delivery is inherently challenging in the Middle East. Unlike in America, Ajlouny said, GCC countries don’t typically have the same established infrastructure that makes it easy for, say, an American UPS driver to get to a particular house.

“There's no mailman; there are no mailboxes.” Ajlouny said.

Many retailers offer free shipping in the Middle East to try to promote digital shopping, but e-commerce is hampered by the inability to easily get a package where it needs to go, Ajlouny said.

That's where Fetchr comes in, Ajlouny said.

“We see ourselves as e-commerce enablers.” Ajlouny said, noting that with the new service, no conversation needed. Drivers simply look up exactly where the customer is located by GPS instead of asking for landmarks and painfully establishing a location verbally.

Ajlouny used the example of food.

“A lot of people want a burger,” Ajlouny said, “But what about when restaurants don't deliver in your neighborhood?”

Also, she said, it’s all about saving time in a world where directions are really a big deal.

Locals can use Fecthr NOW to both send and receive packages, making it a game-changer for anyone who wants to set up their own enterprise services or get an order from an online retailer, or just get quick and easy take-out food.

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