Today, the company has 16 outlets across the emirates and is a member of the UAE-based Liberty Investment, which is the holding company of the Liberty Group.
Salim Damji, senior general manager, Budget Car & Van Rental, UAE, says: “Aggressive marketing in 2010 has enabled us to effectively utilise our fleet to the maximum and this resulted in us achieving the highest rental per vehicle, per month amongst all Budget licensees in the GCC. Also, in recognition of our performance, Budget – UAE earned the prestigious ‘High Performance for Marketing’ award during the annual conference of Budget licensees from Europe, Middle East and Africa.”
2010 also saw the opening of four new locations in the UAE, a 24/7 call centre in Dubai, Sharjah Saif Zone, Downtown Dubai outlet and the JAL Tower Hotel in Dubai.
“All emirates are covered from our centralised offices in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah and our 24/7 call centre. Umm Al Quwain and Ajman, being smaller emirates, are covered by our Sharjah offices while Al Ain is serviced by the Abu Dhabi offices. We are constantly on the lookout for good locations to open new branches in these emirates as well as to expand in the ones where we already have outlets,” added Damji.
At Budget, customers still prefer to rent or lease economy cars to large luxury vehicles indicating a general shift to smaller cars. “We believe this trend will continue in 2011,” added Damji.
Looking ahead to another challenging year, the company will continue its aggressive expansion plans to grow the franchise locations as well as move into its larger facilities in the Dubai Investments Park. Four more locations, Al Ain, Fujairah, Ras Al Khaimah and Sharjah are scheduled to open in the first half of 2011.
“We have aggressive expansion plans in the short term to increase our fleet size and grow market share by 25 per cent year-on-year over the next three years. This will be achieved without compromising on our value for money, which has always been our core strength,” he added.
Speaking of trends, Damji believes that many long-term lease clients are considering a shift to monthly rentals as corporate clients prefer to have a shorter period of commitment. This has resulted in record high monthly rentals for Budget.