*Now tourism practitioners’ delight
As a mark of global acceptance and recognition of its genuineness, motorists in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE) have described Toyota vehicle models as the best for use in the country due to its agility, reliability and above all, the brand’s low cost of maintenance.
In Dubai particularly and in most other parts of UAE, such as, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Al Ain, Ajman, Toyota vehicles were found to be most popular on the roads. It is therefore, seen by most of the residents as their most preferred utility vehicles for taxi cabs, personal cars and even for rough terrain areas such as the deserts.
It was observed that Dubai cities like Deira, Jumeirah, Sharjah, Hatta and even the East Coast areas were dominated primarily with Toyota Camry and Toyota Avanza which are used either as taxi cabs, pleasure ride, and luxury or for personal use.
Speaking on why Toyota vehicles are prominent in the city which was once described as one of the world’s most dynamic and upwardly mobile cities, a professional driver with one of the leading tourism companies in Dubai-Oasis Palm Tourism, Sajjad Kiyani said that Toyota vehicles are the strongest model in the world as at today.
Due to its agility, Kiyani noted that Oasis Palm Tourism has found Toyota very useful as it is very reliable, cost effective and also easy to maintain. “I tell you, Toyota is very good and that is why we use it for this desert safari. In fact, it is the best vehicle for the desert and that is why we call it King of the Desert” he said.
According to the driver, Toyota has never disappointed them, especially whenever they use it to entertain tourists for desert safari. Another driver who simply identified himself as Amip disclosed that in Gama area of Dubai during one of the Dessert Safari sessions, which they wouldn’t have gone for any other vehicle apart from Toyota which gives them the very value they needed in such exercise.
“You see, desert safari is not what you do with vehicles that are not strong. Toyota is very strong and that is why we have chosen it for the safaris”, Amip said. To another expert driver, Tahiz Raza, Toyota remains the choice for all the drivers in that area since the vehicle has what it takes to cruise on the desert.
Raza said “In Dubai, especially in this Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve, all you can find is Toyota range of vehicles because the brand has proven to be the best for Desert Safaris. That is why you find Toyota all over the place. It is our best”.
In a recent desert safari session in Dubai, it was also gathered that amongst the 10 Sports Utility Vehicles (SUVs) brought by Oasis Palm Tourism to entertain guests in the desert, Toyota vehicles topped the number with Land Cruiser, Sequoia, Highlander,4Runner and Fortuner leading their fleet.
Apart from Oasis Palm Tourism, other tourism firms that embark on desert safaris such as Mirage Adventures Tourism and Going Tourism Company, all have Toyota SUVs dominating their fleet with Lexus SUV trailing behind.
The choice of Toyota as preferred vehicle by the Dubai firms and professional drivers is not surprising because Toyota remains the choice of the higher population in Nigeria.
Despite economic recession in 2017, Toyota Nigeria Limited, major authorized distributor of genuine Toyota vehicles in Nigeria, is expected to grow their market share within the neighborhood of about 24 per cent by the end of the year.
Although, at the end of the third quarter of 2017, the entire Nigerian auto market sold about 7000 vehicles out of which Toyota did about 1900 just as economic factors militated against vehicle imports and sales in the country.
The story of Toyota in Dubai is not different in the Nigerian environment where the brands are also highly embraced. The auto firm commenced operations as the exclusive distributor of Toyota Motor Corporation in Nigeria in 1996. In its early days in Nigeria, the Toyota brand had to strive for acceptance, particularly in the face of stiff competition from the established brands at the time.
For over two decades now, the company has remained the exclusive franchise owner of the Toyota brand in Nigeria and has consistently sustained the top spot for the brand in the Nigerian automobile industry.