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    9 October 2007
    Car rants

    Now I just HAD to blog this.

    Sometime during my last year in Doha I bought a pretty Landcruiser Prado. I love my car, it was one of very few 3-door Prado SUVs in Doha. The car is awesome, it's not too flashy, it is compact yet has ample space for the passengers and for luggage. Strong engine, great off road qualities, reliable in the sand dunes, good CD player, decent A/C... In other words, my car was perfect. The only (substantial) drawback was the service in Doha. Anybody who has a Toyota in Qatar and who prefers to maintain it at the dealer's knows what I am talking about. With an average of what seems to be 1,5 Toyota/Lexus cars per person in Doha and with one service centre you can imagine what a madhouse that was!

    Stuck in the Industrial area, with one access road, no parking space to speak of and no order of any kind it was an ordeal from hell. Cars were literally parked one on top of the other, and the place was swamped at any time of the day. It generally took a good few days to have the car serviced, and that was just a routine service!

    So it's no surprise that I wasn't excited when I was faced with the prospect of taking my car (which I brought with me from Doha) for service here in Dubai, I just had flashbacks of the horrible Toyota service centre in Doha and I kind of expected it to be the same here.

    I couldn't have been more wrong.

    Here to take your Toyota for service I had to call and make an appointment. I was allocated a time slot (down to half hour) and an engineer in charge who will take care of the paperwork and the service. About half an hour prior to my appointment this engineer called me to make sure I was on my way and told me that he was expecting me.

    I drove up to Toyota service centre, entered a clearly marked gate, everything was clean and not packed up with cars, ample parking space, I was guided by the gate warden who showed me where to leave my car near the entrance of the service centre. I entered the building, and at the reception the lady looked up my name and car number in her log and called my engineer in charge who appeared within a minute. We walked to my car while he asked me all the relevant questions (any problems? when was the last service? any requests? did you remove the valuables? will you wait or would you prefer to come back later? since you want to wait, please give me your mobile number and I'll call you to come down when the car is ready. Should be ready in about 30 minutes, blah blah..)

    He then directed me to the "waiting room" upstairs. I expected something like what I was used to in Qatar - dusty rooms with government leaflets and prayer rugs, mens area and ladies area nonsense - but I was pleasantly surprised. A nice clean common room with small tables and chairs, a flat screen telly, vending machines for hot drinks, water and munchies, and massive windows where you could look down onto the service area and see the work in progress! Ladies' and Gents' toilets were right outside the waiting room, and there were praying rooms also. There were about 10 people in the waiting room, some concentrated on their laptops and books, some watching their cars being fixed, some just relaxing. I brought a book but I was mostly watching the mechanics working on my car ;-)

    Although there was no mayhem at the gates and there was a lot of parking space available in and around the service centre, the garage itself was full with plenty of mechanics working on the cars. I guess the appointment system really works.

    Since all I wanted was a routine service, it took about 30 minutes and I watched my car lowered down and driven out. I got a phone call within 2 minutes, my engineer telling me that the car is ready. I went down and he was there with all the papers for me to sign, and the bill I payed right there. The car was parked exactly where I left it when I came in.

    The entire procedure took an hour (with the driving time).

    Thumbs up!
    posted by Bravecat @ 11:11 am  
    • At 09/10/2007, 14:47, Anonymous Anonymous said…

      yes i agree Cat toyota service in Doha really sucks.

    • At 09/10/2007, 16:07, Anonymous homie said…

      lucky for you Kitty. you remind me not to purchase any Toyota vehicle in the future. We rather stick to Nissan.

    • At 09/10/2007, 16:13, Blogger GC said…

      Believe it or not, the Toyota dealership in Egypt is similarly professional.

    • At 09/10/2007, 22:16, Blogger Cairogal said…

      Al Futtaim Toyota? My friend is the service manager there, and I know he would love to read this if it was the same place!

    • At 09/10/2007, 23:21, Blogger Qatar Cat said…


      Yes it does and it's sad, cause Toyota is a national vehicle of Qatar.


      I dunno how bad/good Nissan service is in Doha, but as a car I prefer Toyota to Nissan.


      I am not surprised. I believe you.


      I have no idea which one it is! I went to the one on Sheikh Zayed road, I believe it is Al Futtaim. Futtaim... Futtaim... for some reason I don't like this name at all. Ugh. Bad memories.

    • At 10/10/2007, 09:40, Anonymous ali said…

      yes its al futtaim. they are good here

    • At 10/10/2007, 21:20, Anonymous Anonymous said…

      I luv Prado 3 door!!!!!!!!! So nice!!!! You are lucky to have such beautiful car!

    • At 17/10/2007, 16:09, Blogger ammaro.com said…


      i have to admit, first time ive ever seen someone actually talk happily about getting their car serviced!

      well done toyota dubai! :D

    • At 18/10/2007, 09:20, Blogger Q Cat said…

      Yup I love my little car. And I am glad the service experience here is painless.


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