Despite Massive Challenges, CEO Omar Al Ashi Successfully Launches Urent
Posted on 2020 Nov,03

Regulation Hurdles and the Crushing Economic Effect of a Pandemic Could Not Keep Founder & CEO Omar Al Ashi from Realizing His Dream to Create the Airbnb of Mobility

When faced with the complications of regulation barriers and the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Omar Al Ashi had to fight against all odds to realize the dream of his vehicle sharing startup.

Today, after overcoming seemingly insurmountable obstacles, the CEO and Founder is proud to announce the launch of Urent, a vehicle sharing app that offers a new concept in the UAE—a new model model in which businesses list multiple vehicle types including cars, yachts, personal watercrafts, scooters, bicycles, ATVs and more.

“When the shutdowns hit,” said Al Ashi, “Things were extremely difficult. We were preparing for our launch and were focused on fine-tuning and testing the platform. Then suddenly people were not going out which is obviously detrimental to our business and put a serious strain on our financial runway. But I was determined to realize my vision and I also had people depending on me. I put everything I had to my name into the company to prevent it from evaporating into thin air, a fate I’ve seen many companies succumb to during the pandemic.”

“I am also very proud that by sacrificing and putting my personal backing into the company, I was able to keep my key employees and persevere through massive regulatory challenges. Not only did I sustain the company through the pandemic, but now Urent is the first company of its kind to be licensed by the RTA (Road & Transport Authority).”

In order to get past the extreme regulation hurdles involved in developing new vehicle-sharing initiatives in the United Arab Emirates, Al Ashi and his team is working closely with Regulations Lab (Ministry of Cabinet Affairs) and other government entities. Together, Urent and government entities are developing guidelines while mitigating the risk that comes with debuting such an initiative.

Beyond vehicle-sharing, part of Omar Al Ashi’s goal is also to help struggling traditional rental companies like Hertz, who recently filed for bankruptcy, to completely digitalize their businesses via Urent. It is just as important to help stand-alone car rental companies recover from the pandemic, Urent is currently prioritizing businesses to help them shift their traditional model to digital via urent.

The Urent app is equipped with high-tech features including an in-app wallet and functionality that gives the Host full control to list their cars and other non-road vehicles, while setting their own daily, weekly, and monthly pricing, as well as kilometer limits, their own rules and regulations, and delivery methods.

To encourage trust between owners and renters, the app will have a robust rating system, similar to Airbnb. In addition, there will be a kind of vetting process to ensure there is a standard for the quality of vehicles and drivers on the platform.

Despite all obstacles, Urent has emerged as a lifestyle brand that is far from traditional and it’s set to revolutionize mobility in the UAE and beyond. Urent is currently raising its second round of funding.