Dollar-Thrifty business grows

Eltibi… developing its presence in ex-Arab Spring countries

In line with its continued expansion drive, Thrifty Car Rental of UAE, a franchisee of the Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group Inc. opened its 12th mall-based outlet in the UAE.  The latest store, located at Al Ghurair Centre in Rigga Road, is situated in the heart of Deira, making it an ideal location for tourists due to its proximity to the Dubai Museum and Creek. Planned to open in March, the new outlet is the first of several branches that the company intends to open in retail locations in 2013.

Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group had a very successful and innovative year in 2012. In the UAE, the company broke barriers with Thrifty announcing the availability of Ford Mustangs and Charger sports vehicles for rental, and we saw Dollar flexible in offering hourly and weekend rental rates.

“We added new locations in Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and United Arab Emirates which we are very proud of.  We have also been concentrating on being green with our car maintenance,” said Sam Eltibi, executive director, Middle East and North Africa for Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group.

“We expect a strong growth prospects for the ex- Arab Spring countries – Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, Libya and Syria. Saudi Arabia and the UAE will continue to thrive, as well as Kuwait and Qatar. Jordan is especially faring well this year, and we hope to see sustained growth in 2013.

“We also see great opportunities for growth in Asia with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations dropping visa borders.  We are under discussions to sell franchises across Asia – Thailand, Malaysia and Srilanka as we see huge growth prospects in these countries,” he further added.

According to Eltibi, tourism is on the rise in the Middle East, Asia and Pacific region and with travel becoming easier – be it booking online, navigate through the country with GPS on your phone, there is tremendous opportunity in this region to generate business.

“Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group has thrived in the Middle East for over 11 years, and we are looking forward to 2013, we feel this year is a milestone in political, environmental and ultimately business reforms, and as customers become more capricious, we are geared up to serve their requirements,” he added.

Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group sees this demand exists always for luxury cars in this part of the world.

“We are not a luxury car rental company; however luxury cars constitute five per cent of our fleet. There is no specific period where there is an increase in demand, as different events and celebrations create a constant demand for luxury cars,” added Eltibi.

Speaking about trends, Eltibi said, “As we have seen in Europe, there is a correlation between budget airlines and the increase of car rental. The UAE is a hub now for regional tourism and transit stays, so people like to drive around even when they are on a short trip. Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group has a very strong presence in airports across the UAE – Dubai, Sharjah and Abu Dhabi.