Mudassir Sheikha: A Visionary Entrepreneur Transforming the Middle East and North Africa


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Mudassir Sheikha, the Co-founder and CEO of Careem, leads the prominent car booking service in the MENA region. The company is headquartered in Dubai, a bustling and dynamic city. Careem operates across a vast expanse, extending from Morocco to Pakistan, and it plays a pivotal role in transforming the region.

Early Life and Educational Journey

Mr. Sheikha’s journey commenced in Pakistan, but his upbringing took place in the vibrant city of Dubai, United Arab Emirates. During his early years, he attended the American School of Dubai. His intellectual ambitions extended beyond borders, leading him to obtain a dual degree in Computer Science and Economics from the esteemed Stanford University. Despite the rigorous academic environment at Stanford, he persisted in refining his skills and knowledge. His educational journey culminated with the attainment of a Master of Business Administration from the University of Southern California.

A Professional Odyssey

Before beginning his impressive tenure at Careem, Sheikha developed his skills as an Associate Partner at McKinsey & Company. During this period, he provided valuable advice to clients on a wide range of strategic and operational issues. Additionally, his entrepreneurial inclination became apparent through his co-founding of DeviceAnywhere, a mobile testing company that Keynote Systems later acquired in 2011.

The Birth of Careem

In 2012, Mudassir Sheikha, along with Magnus Olsson, a former colleague from McKinsey, founded Careem. This innovative venture originated in Dubai but swiftly expanded to include several cities across the Middle East and North Africa. Careem is not limited to ride-hailing services alone; it offers a wide range of services, encompassing food delivery and mobile payment solutions.

Careem’s Vision and Mission

Careem’s core mission revolves around the aspiration to transform the Middle East and North Africa into the most convenient and car-light region globally. This vision also underpins their mission statement: “We aim to enhance the lives of people in the Middle East and North Africa by providing easier, cost-effective, and dependable access to transportation, food delivery, and payment services.”

An Innovative Success Story

Careem’s rapid growth since its establishment has made it one of the most remarkable startup success stories in the Middle East and North Africa. The company currently has more than 33 million registered users and operates in over 100 cities across 14 countries. Its most significant milestone occurred in 2019 when Uber acquired Careem for an astonishing $3.1 billion.

Mudassir Sheikha: A Recognized Entrepreneur

Mudassir Sheikha’s achievements go beyond business. He is recognized as a top entrepreneur in the Middle East and North Africa. He has received notable acknowledgments, such as being named one of the “Most Powerful Arabs in the World” by Arabian Business and being featured in Time magazine’s list of the “Top 100 Most Influential People in the World.”


Mudassir Sheikha stands as a visionary entrepreneur, achieving remarkable success in establishing one of the most acclaimed startups in the Middle East and North Africa. His unwavering dedication to improving the lives of people in the region is evident through his commitment to enhancing convenience and reducing car dependency. In the ever-changing landscape of the MENA region, Sheikha and Careem play pivotal roles in driving transformative change.

ALSO READ: Top 10 Marvelous Leaders in Dubai



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