China’s ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxing has agreed to set up a partnership with Mohamed Alabbar’s Symphony Investments to jointly explore opportunities in the sharing economy and internet-based consumer business in the Middle East and North Africa, reported Caixin.


Didi and Symphony will create a joint venture based in Abu Dhabi,  according to an agreement signed on Monday in Beijing. Abu Dhabi’s strategic investment firm Mubadala Investment Co. is also interested in the partnership, said Didi. The partnership was announced during a visit to China by Mohammed bin Zayed, Abu Dhabi’s crown prince and the deputy supreme commander of the UAE’s armed forces.


The deal underscores Didi’s ambition to expand its presence abroad. Since 2017, the ride-hailing company has made investments or set up partnerships with several overseas rivals including Uber, Lyft, Brazil’s 99 and Dubai-based Careem.