Bike rental services gain traction in Dubai

Nandini Sircar/Dubai
Filed on December 5, 2020

(KT file)

With many bike-sharing schemes in place, one can casually borrow a bike from a docking stand.

Bike rental services are becoming increasingly popular in Dubai with residents emerging from homes to enjoy the cool weather

With many bike-sharing schemes in place, one can casually borrow a bike from a docking stand near a metro station or a tourist spot for short hops around the city.

Numerous spots — Dubai Marina, Jumeirah Beach Road, Jumeirah Lake Towers, The Greens, Barsha Heights, Dubai Water Canal, Dubai Media City, Downtown Dubai and Al Qudra — have bike-sharing service launched by the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) and Careem.

“Our bikes are advantageous as they are pedal-assisted bikes, so the ride is much easier and smoother,” said Mahmoud Habboub, director of Smart Mobility at Careem. “We have 800 such bikes located at 80 stations. All you have to do is pick-and-drop the bike. With this service, you don’t have to worry about the cost of maintaining a bike. Also, the subscription rates are quite affordable,” he added.

Prices remain at Dh20 for one day, Dh50 for a weekly membership, Dh75 for a monthly membership and Dh420 for one year (less than Dh2 per day).

“By having a valid subscription, one can take the bike as many times as they want, as long as each trip is no longer than 45 minutes. A customer can choose to extend the trip time beyond 45 minutes, with an additional fee of Dh10 every 30 minutes,” he explained.

Other rental options

“We were the first providers of the self-service bike stations in cooperation with Emaar and the RTA,” said Abdullah Abdulghani Alkahtani, CEO of Byky Sport and Leisure Equipment Rental and Trading.

“We faced two critical challenges during the time: First, the infrastructure of biking tracks — now resolved as there are several new tracks on Dubai roads. The other issue was the weather, which limited the service for a specific season.”

Byky operates at more than 75 rental points in the UAE with destinations such as parks, beaches and entertainment locations. Regular bikes at Byky can be rented at Dh20 for 30 minutes whereas pedal go-karts which start from Dh40 can be rented for 45 minutes.

With 10 bikes that includes carbon fibre road bikes and dual-suspension mountain bikes, Wolfi’s Bike Shop is a fairly new player in the market.

“We see an increase in demand when tourism is high or around the time when cycling challenges take place in the city. People rent road bikes for Dh200 a day and mountain bikes for Dh250 per day — all pre-booked,” said Sam Whittam, business development head of the company.

“People also book for test driving the bikes ahead of investing in costlier options Dh15,000 to Dh20,000. The value of the bike rental then gets deducted from the ultimate amount.

“Bearing in mind the huge demand for rental bikes, we are considering an expansion of our current fleet,” he added.

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