Homing in on tired motorists

DUBAI — The Safer Driver Company, which provides drivers to motorists who may not feel like driving, is planning to expand its services.

By Omer Zakieldin

Published: Sun 22 Apr 2007, 8:49 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 1:43 AM

Set up last year, the company provides its services to motorists who may be ill or tired, or planning to hire a driver for a long-distance journey.

The company’s drivers can reach a client anywhere in Dubai within an hour, sometimes within 15 minutes, depending on the location, and take them to any destination in the UAE.

Usually, people headed to longer destinations prefer to use the services of these drivers, instead of driving on their own.

It works like this: following a call, two drivers from the company arrive on a bike. While one drives the client in their car, the other follows on the bike. Once they reach the destination specified by the motorist, the two drivers get back on their bike to head office.

With increased number of road accidents as well as traffic snarls on Dubai streets, the company is convinced it’s providing a much-needed relief to the motorists.

Says Ahmed Lazem, the company’s CEO: “We would like to believe that we are contributing, in a small way though, in reducing the traffic problem. Currently, we are providing our “drive-home service” to 10-15 people every day, which comes to over 400 people every month. However, by July or August this year, we aim to provide our services to 40-50 customers per day.”

He adds: “Currently, we operate between 9pm and 3am. But we aim to have our drivers available 24 hours a day.”

But how safe are these drivers? Quips the CEO: “Our drivers need to have enough experience at the wheel and sufficient knowledge of Dubai’s streets. We only hire those drivers who have 5-10 years’ experience on the road. They also have to undergo a test before they can be offered the job, and our tests are not easy.”

Lazem also discloses that it took almost a year for the company to receive a No Objection Certificate from the Roads and Transport Authority to begin the operations, which suggests a lot of thought and preparation has gone into the venture.

George, general manager for a retail company, uses the Safer Driver Company service regularly. “It’s a valuable service. It’s pretty useful when one has to go to a remote area, like The Ranches. It’s also useful to hire these drivers late in the evening,” he notes.

The fee for using a Safer driver ranges between Dh80 and Dh120. Is it on the higher side? Replies George: “It depends on one’s income.”

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