In a Nutshell: The biggest frustration many consumers have with car rental companies is that they never know how much it will cost until they reach the counter. Finding the best deals among different companies can also be a hassle, even on comparison platforms set up for that purpose. Finalrentals solves those problems for business and credit card reward travelers in the United Arab Emirates with its price transparency and deal selection. The platform emphasizes convenience by merging those vital aspects of car rentals transforming it into the nation’s largest car rental platform.
The United Arab Emirates (UAE), with its vibrant cities of Dubai and Abu Dhabi, is a popular nation for expat workers. About 80% of its population of around 10 million come from other countries. They live and work in a UAE that the petroleum industry has transformed over the last 50 years. Today, UAE is an international business and transportation hub and one of the world’s wealthiest nations.
UAE is also a popular tourist destination. Millions travel to the Emirates each year for business and to enjoy one of the world’s most ultramodern urban consumer experiences. And all of those visitors need a way to explore the city.
Finalrentals is the leading car rental platform used by UAE expats and tourists who need ways to get around. The platform allows travel rewards credit card users to earn and spend their rewards in a nation built on auto transportation.
Finalrentals partners with the leading rental companies in UAE and aggregates the best deals and selection. It caters to business card rewards customers who value convenience, price transparency, and a seamless rental experience.
CEO and Founder Ammar Akhtar launched Finalrentals four years ago after working for more than a dozen years for the companies that now serve as Finalrentals partners. He saw customer pain points as an onboarding professional and online ecosystems architect for many major brands. Akhtar said he used that experience to build Finalrentals and solve many common customer problems.
“Customers were often frustrated about transparency, and they felt they were being taken advantage of at the counter,” Akhtar said. “And then I said, ‘You know what? I’m going to stop working for these companies and partner with them instead.’”
Price Comparison Feature Eliminates Uncertainty
The UAE offers public transportation, but the nation’s compact geography means that traveling longer distances on mass transit is relegated to buses and taxis. While the large urban centers offer metros, the cities were designed so recently that car travel is convenient and inexpensive.
For the vast majority of expat and credit card rewards travelers, car rentals remain the most convenient way to get around. It doesn’t hurt that many visitors to UAE arrive from countries, including the U.S. and Europe, where auto transport is the preferred form of travel.
“Cars are the ultimate vehicles to move you around here,” Akhtar said. “That’s why a platform like ours has been successful in tapping into the market.”
Pricing is another significant reason for Finalrentals’ growth. In a business-oriented rental market that is also a high-frequency travel destination, Finalrentals is attractive because it removes all of the guesswork inherent in renting on other platforms.
As the company expresses on its website: “A lot of people spend plenty of hours comparing prices on so many different portals. Finalrentals.com aims to become the final destination for your car rental needs.”
Instead of putting the onus on customers to dig into price comparison details, Finalrentals professionals compare prices and negotiate on the customer’s behalf with its many rental partners.
That means customers can feel confident in knowing the price they see is fair for the given vehicle and rental term. And they know it well before they turn in their keys at the end of the trip.
“We choose the best car rental value for you,” according to the website.
Fair Rates and Options on a Wide Selection of Vehicles
Finalrentals has made its name on low prices and still bills itself as an affordable car rental platform. Frequent customers continue to rent global small-car makes, but the site has also added some premium upgrades.
“Our bread and butter remains the cheaper cars, but recently we have also added even a Maserati,” Akhtar said. “So, sure, you can rent a Kia Picanto or an Opel Corsa, for example, but you can also upgrade to a Maserati or a Range Rover.”
Finalrentals’ commitment to value is also apparent in its rental term structures. It innovates beyond what competitors make available and offers a significant discount to customers choosing to rent by the month.
“Monthly rental is something that has made us popular,” Akhtar said. “It constitutes almost 70% of our business.”
The UAE recently extended its tourist visa to three months. That made Finalrentals’ longer term option an attractive prospect for travelers on extended business or personal stays, Akhtar said.
“The arrival of that three-month visa gave birth to the module,” he said. “And because customers pay almost 60% less per day when they rent monthly, the product has been very successful. It’s a standout.”
The monthly option is a differentiator in another significant way — customers don’t come to the car; the car comes to them.
“What we’ve done for monthly is we offer you free delivery wherever you are,” Akhtar said. “It’s like we’re Uber-izing the car rental industry — you can order the car right to your doorstep.”
In Dubai and Abu Dhabi, Finalrentals also offers discounts on weekly rentals. In more than 400 drop-off locations around the UAE, it extends familiar, flexible rental deals on its fleet of more than 85,000 total vehicles — including more than 24,000 in Dubai alone.
UAE COVID-19 protocols mean that Finalrentals sanitizes every vehicle between customers, and the company also offers a lockdown-proof return policy.
“If a lockdown is imposed, you keep the car until the lockdown is lifted with no extra charge,” Akhtar said.
The pandemic also resulted in Finalrentals introducing app-based contactless rentals. “You don’t need a person or a key — just unlock and drive,” Akhtar said.
Giving Card Rewards Travelers More Freedom to Explore
Finalrentals continues to focus on the commitment to transparency Akhtar made in his early years in the industry. Many customers hail from Europe, where debit card use is frequent, and the difference between debit and credit cards is obscure. That’s why Finalrentals thoroughly explains the nuances so customers avoid confusion at the counter.
The company also educates customers on which vehicles don’t support unlimited mileage agreements and how security deposits work on credit cards.
“We’ve worked to control the customer experience piece,” Akhtar said.
The company does it all to bring freedom to more rewards card enthusiasts interested in exploring a unique place that welcomes Americans and Europeans with open arms.
“When you land in Dubai, you get this sense of newness, that something’s happening,” Akhtar said. “And we’re in the process of building further.”
Travelers love to drive Dubai’s Sheikh Zayed Road to view the brilliant skyline, which includes the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa. The road then leads to the spectacular Atlantis Hotel on the man-made archipelago Palm Jumeirah island.
“The whole strip is great — if you’re coming this way, you must check it out,” Akhtar said.