MINI Middle East follows the BMW Group regarding its systematic development as a customer-centric mobility company with the announcement that it has signed a partnership with ekar, the first and largest carshare operator in the Middle East. The world’s leading provider of premium mobility will supply a selection of MINI 3 Door and 5 Door Hatch cars for the RTA program known as ‘Dubai Car’. The program allows ekar users to rent premium cars via ekar’s mobile app for 50 fils per minute, or 30 AED an hour. This price includes free fuel, free parking, and no additional insurance costs.
“We wanted selecting an ekar to be like choosing an item of clothing, whatever suits you that day. The only options for pay-per-minute car share in Dubai, however, were economy-level vehicles, and it was clear that ekar needed to add something different for our next tranche of 100 RTA Dubai cars, which increased our fleet to 200 cars. Through our partnership with MINI Middle East, we are now able to offer premium cars at our usual 50 fils per minute rate! Some called us crazy for keeping the price so low, but we look forward to seeing our beautiful new cars buzzing around the city, accessible to customers of all income levels and truly brightening the day of those who drive them,” commented Vilhelm Hedberg, ekar CEO and Co-Founder.
Andreas Gollwitzer, Head of MINI Middle East said: “The BMW Group not only manufactures premium automobiles, but also develops a range of services to meet the growing need for flexible mobility solutions in urban areas. This new partnership is aimed precisely to service this need and bring cost-effective mobility to the masses and contributes to our vision of future mobility. We are excited to introduce our MINI brand to existing and potentially new customers through this strategic partnership and provide them with solutions for a brighter urban life.”
The rapidly growing field of mobility services is one of the cornerstones of the BMW Group’s corporate strategy NUMBER ONE > NEXT. This is demonstrated by the BMW Group expanding its offering in the areas of on-demand mobility (DriveNow and ReachNow), parking (ParkNow) and charging (ChargeNow) in a sustainable way.
As a global leader in innovative mobility, the BMW Group has already gained rich experience in the operation of mobility service in Europe as well as in the US. In 2011, the BMW Group launched its first car-sharing service in Europe in partnership with the car rental company SIXT under the brand of DriveNow. The service is now active in 13 European cities with more than one million registered users and over 6,000 vehicles in operation. Based on this successful model, the BMW Group launched in April 2016 an enhanced car-sharing service in the United States under the ReachNow brand, providing users with various individual mobility services such as car sharing, driver service, long term car rental including delivery of car.
ekar, in conjunction with the RTA, launched Dubai Car in January 2017. Since then, ekar has built an impressive 50,000+ user-base, and services an average of more than 5 bookings per car per day. Users are able to experience MINI via the ekar app now.