2011 has been a strong year for Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group (DTAG) Mena as the company opened new outlets in UAE, Qatar and Turkey, new Dollar headquarters in Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Morocco and continues to concentrate on airport locations for further business and brand awareness. Sam Eltibi, executive director, Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group Mena & Asia Pacific said, “Since statistics are absent in the Middle East we cannot give an accurate number on our market share in the Middle East. However, we are one of the largest car rental companies in the region, and we are the largest in the UAE.”
“The Arab Spring was certainly a challenge last year. Certain pockets saw a negative effect on business, but countries like Morocco, Turkey, Jordan, UAE and Oman have benefited due to their political stability attracting Arabs and foreign expats,” he further added.
Beyond the Middle East, DTAG is keen to boost its presence in emerging markets including India. Eltibi said, “We have good number of customers coming in from Europe visiting India, especially during events like the recent F1.”
2012 will also see Dollar and Thrifty franchisees boost fleet and upgrade their vehicles to the current year. “By now, most of our car models will be 2012. Countries like Jordan, Qatar and UAE has increased their fleet size due to increasing demand” he added.
Further in 2012, Eltibi says the agenda is to remain accessible to customers and invest on training programmes. “Whether it is timely response to the general email addresses or answering the telephone, we are providing a service to the public and they need to know they can count on us. We will invest in technology to allow quicker turn around times for our customers as well.”
”Similarly, with changing economic conditions, it is important to grab all the knowledge of the market and how to tackle it as possible. This year in May we will hold the ad and sales training committee in Beirut, Lebanon for all our franchisees.”
Speaking about new trends, Eltibi says, “We are witnessing more frequent but shorter rentals, due to the explosion of budget airlines in the region, encouraging people to travel more often. We are also seeing a positive effect from the Dubai metro, where people rent cars for longer drives and use the metro for inner city travel, discouraging the owning of cars.
“In 2012, we should see more business from countries like Jordan, Turkey, UAE and Oman who have benefited in terms of tourism due to the unrest in other parts of the Middle East,” he concluded.
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