Israel: Arabic app delivers food to remote villages

i24NEWS

3 min read
An Israeli Arab youth sits at a viewpoint overlooking the northern Israeli town of Umm al-Fahm, on February 4, 2020.
AP Photo/Oded BaliltyAn Israeli Arab youth sits at a viewpoint overlooking the northern Israeli town of Umm al-Fahm, on February 4, 2020.

'We will reach thousands of communities in the coming years. Everyone deserves to have food delivered home'

The food delivery app Haat will expand to the northern Israeli city of Karmiel in August after operating so far only in Israel’s mostly rural Arab sector.

Haat – “bring” in Arabic – plans to expand throughout Israel before dipping its toes into other markets, such as the West Bank and eventually Morocco.

"We will reach thousands of communities in the coming years. Everyone deserves to have food delivered home," said Haat co-founder and CEO Dr. Hassan Abbasi, Ynetnews reported.

"Today, we're an Israeli company, but we'll become an international company."

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The company has 100 employees in the northern Israeli cities of Umm al-Fahm and Haifa and offers customer service in Hebrew, Arabic, English, and soon French.

According to its vice president of sales and marketing, Amir Baballah, the food delivery app reaches out to communities with less infrastructure, such as remote Arab villages where home addresses are imprecise and businesses don’t have credit card payment systems.

The app was launched just before the outbreak of Covid in early 2020 after Abbasi, a former Google and Intel employee, returned to his hometown of Umm al-Fahm and was unable to order a delivery into the Arab city.

"Around 150 restaurants for 180,000 residents and not a single menu online. I would call a restaurant and the waitress read out the menu to me on the phone. And a delivery? Order it yourself. So I did,” Abbasi recalled.

“I wanted to pay with a credit card, and I couldn't. Cash only. Even when the courier got to my area, it took him 15 more minutes to actually get to me because he couldn’t find the place," he said, Ynet reported.

"I realized something was missing here. People are more out of the house. Women work and cook less at home.”

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