Name game: This ISIS is for cars, not wars

Isis Rent A Car on Al Wahda Street draws curious glances for its name

Image Credit: Abhishek Sengupta/XPRESS
Business not as usual. Mamoon says the name of his Rent A Car company has generated interest among passers-by
XPRESS

SHARJAH The sign of a Sharjah car rental company near Al Khan bridge has become an unlikely crowd puller because of its name.

Isis Rent A Car may be more than two decades old, but thanks to Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) - the rebel group that controls territories in the two countries - the firm’s shiny electric blue sign on Al Wahda street has drawn fresh attention from passersby in recent months, says Mamoon, 46, the company’s general manager.

“There’s obviously no link between us and them. We are a reputed company in this business since 1990 and our regular customers – especially the Arab expats – know us very well. However, tourists and people of other nationalities often frown upon our name and we do have a lot of explaining to do then,” says the Syrian who has been at the helm of the company of more than 5,000 customers since 1992.

Misunderstood

His business, he insists, is named after Isis, the ancient Egyptian deity worshipped as the ideal mother and wife and the patroness of nature and magic besides being also known as protector of the dead and goddess of children. However, he knows there’s a lot riding on his company’s name that is often misunderstood by those not in the know.

“The other day, a group of tourists hopped out of a bus and started clicking our signpost. After trying in vain for a while to dissuade them, I too joined in the fun, posing for them in front of my office. There’s no doubt our company, in a matter of few months, has become a matter of great interest,” adds Mamoon, the father of three who is nevertheless reluctant to change his company name.

“The name may make many very curious, but those looking for the best service around this area must look beyond the name,” says Mamoon, who has five staff on his payroll including two drivers to look after a sizeable fleet of 63 cars.

Yet, says Mamoon, he has lost an occasional customer here and there just because of the name. “Sometime back an Indonesian family had come calling for a car on rent. The moment I had handed over my business card to them, they jumped at the name and walked off,” recalls Mamoon.

However, some like Barbora, 32, and Lubos Skalicky, 45, a Czech couple visiting the UAE, the name hardly matters.

“Why should it? What appealed to us is their service and great rates,” said Barbora, a first-time client. “Thanks to people like them it’s business as usual,” smirks Mamoon.

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