Hertz on the fast lane in Mideast


Hertz car rental services are continuing to expand across the Middle East, where the world's largest car rental company is represented by franchise operations in Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, the UAE and Yemen.

There have been numerous Hertz developments throughout the region in recent months, including the opening of more new branches, fleet expansions, and the introduction of a wide range of car rental benefits for Hertz customers, who also have easy access to Hertz general sales agents in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain.

Among the latest Hertz developments was the opening by Hertz UAE of its first branch in Abu Dhabi. The new branch in Ali Sultan Al Hamly Building, Al Falah Street, adjacent to the Ministry of Finance and Industry building, became the 66th Hertz outlet in the region.

In expanding its network of Hertz branches to eight, Hertz UAE expects Abu Dhabi to generate a substantial part of its overall car rental business, and is already planning to introduce more Hertz outlets in the emirate.

"Abu Dhabi should contribute a significant proportion of our business once we've fully developed our operations there," said Nitin Sapre, Hertz UAE sales and marketing manager, Al-Futtaim Sons.

Hertz UAE expects car leasing to form a significant part of the overall business in Abu Dhabi, with the major segments for leasing being government owned oil and gas companies, oil field suppliers, defence companies, the engineering and project sectors, IT and electronics companies, and other multinationals.

The Abu Dhabi branch was the 31st new Hertz outlet to open in the Middle East in just over 18 months. Al Futtaim-Sons also operates five Hertz branches in Dubai, as well as two in Sharjah.

In Yemen, Universal Rent a Car, the Hertz franchisee, signed a three-year leasing agreement to provide a fleet of vehicles for use by SabaFon, the Lebanese-based company providing the first GSM mobile phone services in the country.

In Jordan, Shakhshir Rent a Car, the Hertz International franchisee, has added two Mercedes stretch limousines to its car rental fleet in response to a growing demand for luxury chauffeur-driven vehicles.

Hertz Jordan now operates 12 branches across the country following the recent opening of a branch at the Sheraton Amman Al Nabil Hotel & Towers, and has a new website,

"We've built in a variety of different car rental options and packages which allow visitors to plan their own personalised leisure visit," said Najati Shakhshir, general manager of Shakhshir Rent a Car.

Among the car rental services available through the website is a car and driver touring programme linked to Jordan's major historical sites. This uses drivers who speak a variety of languages, and are specially trained to make touring an interesting, enjoyable and comfortable experience.

Hertz Bahrain now has a third branch on the island, at the Diplomat Radisson SAS hotel. The branch is conveniently located in a boutique outlet just inside the hotel's entrance, allowing guests privacy when making car rental bookings.

A number of Hertz promotions are in place across the region.

Almana Motors Rent A Car, the Hertz international franchisee in Qatar, is offering a 30 per cent discount on car rental rack rates for HSBC and Doha Bank Visa cardholders. In Saudi Arabia, business and leisure travellers are taking advantage of reduced Hertz car rental charges in the Kingdom, and overseas, by using a new privilege card also guaranteeing rapid rental services.

Hertz Saudi Arabia's Special Partner Card guarantees special membership discounts for car rentals made at each of the 16 Hertz locations across the Kingdom, and worldwide.

By calling a dedicated reservation number when making car rentals, cardholders receive immediate quotations and confirmations, while also qualifying for additional promotional offers.

Hertz Saudi Arabia has also introduced a new VIP level of car rental benefits for Saudi American Bank (SAMBA) credit card holders. SAMBA credit cardholders making car rental bookings at any Hertz location in the Kingdom can now enjoy around 40 per cent discount, excluding insurance and extra mileage.

Hertz aims to continue on its course of offering customers more new Hertz branches, bigger car rental fleets with a wider range of new models, enhanced customer service, and a growing number of brand loyalty programmes offering a comprehensive range of customer benefits.