MINI Middle East has announced that it has signed on as a partner with ekar, which is the first and largest carshare operator in the Middle East. MINI will be supplying ekar with a selection of MINI 3 Door and 5 Door Hatch cars for the RTA program which is known as ‘Dubai Car’. As part of this program, ekar users will be able to rent premium cars using ekar’s mobile app for 50 fils per minute, or 30 AED an hour. This price is inclusive of fuel and parking charges and there will be no additional insurance costs.
Vilhelm Hedberg, ekar CEO and Co-Founder said that ekar wanted choosing a car for rent to be like selecting an item of clothing, with the choice being high-end or economy depending on the customer’s preferences for the day. In Dubai, however, the only options that were available for pay-per-minute car share were economy-level vehicles. This is why ekar wanted to do something for the next tranche of 100 RTA Dubai cars, which increased the company’s fleet to 200 cars. As an outcome of ekar’s partnership with MINI Middle East, the company would now be able to offer premium cars at its usual 50 fils per minute rate. Thus, all kinds of customers would be able to get access to premium cars at a nominal rate.
Andreas Gollwitzer, Head of MINI Middle East said that the BMW Group not only manufactures premium vehicles but is also focusing on the development of a wide range of services to meet the growing need for flexible mobility solutions in urban areas. This new partnership with ekar is meant to cater to this need and bring cost-effective mobility to the masses, thus contributing to BMW’s vision of future mobility. Through this strategic partnership, the BMW Group would get a chance to introduce its MINI brand to existing and potentially new customers while contributing to more flexible urban mobility in Dubai.
Expansion in the field of mobility services is one of the cornerstones of the BMW Group’s corporate strategy NUMBER ONE > NEXT. This is highlighted by BMW’s new offerings in the area of on-demand mobility like DriveNow and ReachNow, parking (ParkNow) and charging (ChargeNow) in a sustainable way.
The BMW Group has already gained significant expertise in the operation of mobility service in Europe as well as in the US. In 2011, the BMW Group launched DriveNow, its first car-sharing service in Europe in partnership with the car rental firm, SIXT. This service now has over one million registered users, over 6,000 vehicles and is operational in 13 European cities. Based on the success of this model, the BMW Group launched in April 2016 an enhanced car-sharing service in the United States under the ReachNow brand. This service provides customers with various individual mobility services like car sharing, driver service, and long term car rental including delivery of car.
ekar, in conjunction with the RTA, launched Dubai Car in January 2017, and has gone on to build an impressive user base of 50,000+, with an average of more than 5 bookings per car per day. Ekar customers can now experience MINI via the ekar app.
Manju Mathew, an MBA in marketing, completed publisher training courses from the Oxford Brookes University and New York University. She started with marketing and PR roles before moving on to her current position as a full time writer. Currently living in Dubai, her life as an expat has sharpened her observation skills and flair for writing. She enjoys writing about luxury cars like Ferrari, Lamborghini, etc even if she can only dream of owning them.
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