|(Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
I may treat my car badly.
Because Al Habtoor owns Sharjah car hire company Diamond Lease, it clearly makes no sense to have a car hire facility tied to your Mitsubishi service centre so your customers can hire cars when theirs are in the shop. That would be convenient, provide an excellent service and make money to boot. So we'll not do that, then.
Luckily, there is Sharjah based car rental company Autolease.
I've been using 'em for years, ever since I first got here in fact, when I hired a 4WD for a day out (In the process hitting - and negatively life-enabling - an Omani goat, but that's another story). They hire out Nissan Altimas for a daily rate of some Dhs175 (inclusive), which sort of suits me. Their website, incidentally, is one of the most charmingly retro UAE experiences to be had outside the Hatta Fort Hotel's Roumoul Bar.
They've decided I now qualify, me with my measly occasional one day hire, as an 'old customer'. Yesterday, I got there to find the paperwork all pre-completed - they'd taken my documents from the previous car rentals in their files - just a signature and then outside to find a chap ready by my car, engine running and AC on. The staff even lent me Dhs10 to pay off my taxi because I didn't have change.
At the end of a long and weary day, it was a wondrous - more so for its rarity - thing to find. Really good customer service. Staff who are friendly, helpful, intelligent and simply delightful, who have anticipated your needs and who are genuinely solicitous. I was grinning all the way home.
Braving the 611 (or, these days, 'Emirates Road') this morning in a Nissan Altima, I have to say, was blood-curdling. Trying to negotiate four jostling lanes of close-packed, bad-tempered commuters hammering 140kph and realising you have the road presence of a curdled gnat. Not good.