Ashish Nanda, Director, Shift Car Rentals Image Credit: Supplied

If you Google “rent a car Dubai”, you’ll see hundreds of agencies and offers. It’s all quite confusing, so how does one stand out from the crowd? “In a competitive environment, customers are more demanding,” says Ashish Nanda, Director of Shift Car Rental. “Shift is addressing this by using technology such as online bookings, web chats for rental bookings, a customer portal for service bookings, delivery management system and automatic payments.”

Shift is currently revamping its entire front-end software to give itself an edge in terms of a varied range of products and services as well as an overall improved customer experience. “Shift has robust tie-ups for short-term rentals,” adds Nanda. “We’re the only car rental company to offer the all-electric Renault Zoe. The vehicle has become popular with customers who want to do their bit for the environment.”

Shift commenced operations in 2008. The key reason for its launch was to forward integrate into the automotive business. “With AWR Group being such a large conglomerate and Shift being part of the automotive group, we procure the vehicles from sister company Arabian Automobiles,” says Nanda. “All servicing/accident repairs are carried out at our dealer workshops and de-fleeting of vehicles happens via our used car division, POQC. We have a fleet of more than 8,000 vehicles and a base of over 750 corporate and more than 2,500 retail customers. We operate from eight locations in the UAE.”

Shift’s connection to the AWR Group, the authorised dealership for Nissan, Infiniti and Renault, allows it to offer a fresh fleet, from compact cars to luxury SUVs. “Small and medium crossovers such as the Renault Duster and Koleos and the Nissan Kicks are gaining popularity, especially among Western expats,” says Nanda.

“Individuals are showing a shift towards leasing — along with Infiniti, Shift has tailored leases to cater to this demand and has been very successful.”