UAE: SUV rentals 'almost fully booked' with residents shelling out Dh1,000 for road trips this long weekend

A number car rental agencies say they have seen a spike of more than 30 per cent in bookings, compared with the same period last year

by

SM Ayaz Zakir

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KT file photo
KT file photo

Published: Fri 1 Dec 2023, 2:19 PM

A new long weekend trend seems to be catching on in the UAE: More residents are going for escapades into the 'great outdoors', according to agencies who have reported a sharp spike in SUV rentals ahead of the National Day long weekend.

Lebanese expat Arfa Hashem is excited to take his visiting relatives around the UAE's scenic spots. And for that, he had booked an SUV.

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“My sedan is not ideal for this road trip since we will be going to Ras Al Khaimah, Wadi Shawkha, and a couple of other spots in the UAE,” he said.

Hashem, a chef who lives in Sharjah, will soon be busy preparing food, too, for their camping adventure in the desert. “We will also be lighting up the grill for barbeque."

Many other residents seem to be going the same route, with some saying they shelled out as much as Dh1,000 for the rentals.

Jestin Joseph, sales executive at Blue Line rental services, said their SUV fleet is almost fully booked for this long weekend. “It seems like people are excited to break away from the routine and experience something different,” he said.

Tarib Ahmed from Popular Car Rentals agreed, saying many of their customers are "requesting vehicles designed for off-road adventures".

The demand was "remarkable", said Soham Shah, CEO and Founder of Selfdrive.ae. “The data speaks volumes, with a staggering increase of more than 30 per cent in our car rentals during the National Day period compared to the same time frame last year".

“The appeal is evident in the numbers, with a notable uptick in the rental of SUVs and luxury vehicles, witnessing a growth of 25 per cent and 20 per cent, respectively," said Shah.

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