The UAE's auto sector is banking on a very optimistic second half of 2019 as visitor numbers to the nation swell, paving a way for a rise in demand for vehicles.

The industry is also looking forward to preparations being made for Expo 2020 Dubai, which is fuelling the demand, according to industry leaders and experts.

Axel Dreyer, CEO of Galadari Automobiles Company Ltd, said: "Expo 2020 will attract not only many visitors; there will also be a lot of people coming associated with countries being represented who will stay here before and during Expo 2020. This will create a higher demand for rental cars."

"Consequently, we are expecting that demand on vehicles for fleet will increase up from the first half of 2020. We are confident that many visitors of Expo 2020 will seek for mobility to discover the other attractions in the UAE. This higher demand has to be covered by an increased fleet in rent-a-car, limousine or taxi services," he added.

"We can see a trend to vehicles with better fuel economy and also a clear focus on SUV models. Especially with Mazda Skyactive technology, we are providing excellent fuel economy combined with the highest comfort and safety level. The development of electric and hybrid cars is very exciting and to see the progress on the digital transformation of automobiles is breathtaking."

"We believe that the second half of 2019 and 2020 are going to witness a positive growth for the UAE's automobile sector," Mohammed Khader, president of Al Majid Motors Company, said. Al Majid Motors, the exclusive distributor of Kia in the UAE, launched three new vehicles - the Telluride SUV, Kia Soul and a hybrid version of the Kia Niro - in the first half, which helped contribute to the 11.2 per cent year-on-year sales growth it posted in the domestic market during the period.

The car rental industry has also seen a spurt in business activity.

Customer demands in this specific industry are increasing, as customers are now more aware of the pros and cons of each option, and they are also a lot more financially-adept and will look to get the best value for money, no matter what the medium.

The current industry trends are quite encouraging for a company with a proper growth and customer-centric mindset, and with the Expo 2020 just around the corner, tens of thousands of people will be streaming in the UAE.

"We're prepared for the influx of demand and are working towards constantly improving overall quality of the product and the experience, leading to new fleet additions to ensure customers are able to drive the newest models without having to own it," said Haris Alvi, business development manager at Speedy Drive.

"It is incredibly important to ensure all visitors to the UAE are made to feel incredibly welcome, and are shown the real side of the UAE, which is an incredibly fast-moving, technologically advanced and customer-friendly environment."

Anirudh Menon Vallikkat, co-founder of Carcility Technologies, said: "The sales of new cars have been picking up this year and is bound to increase during the last few months and the rising trend will continue in 2020. The market is expecting a surge in car sales, with a lot of migrant population expected and also in the commercial vehicles segment with growth in tourism and the buoyant construction sector. Consumers are also leaning more towards pre owned cars where the sales has seen a steady increase."

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