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Device helping firms in UAE to keep track of vehicles.

The device shows the location of vehicles, represented in coloured boxes.

Car rental companies and logistics firms are using a new tracking device to keep tabs on customers and employees using their vehicles in the UAE.

Some firms said that it helps track rental drivers who don't pay rent on time, while others claim that it discourages staff drivers from skiving on duty or using the vehicles for non-work related journeys.

The device, called Track Keeper, is attached to the car and the owner receives a real-time feed of where the vehicle is, even if the driver stops to refuel.

"You automatically get a notification on your smartphone if the car leaves Dubai or any other emirate that it's supposed to stay in," said Ashish Panjabi, the CEO of Jacky's Business Solutions who distribute the device.

He added: "The owner can also disable the car if necessary." Panjabi, also COO of Jacky's Electronics, said the tracker is only sold to firms with a fleet of cars.

The device, which costs from Dhs500 to Dhs600 per unit, is not available to individuals because of security reasons. The 777 Rent a Car firm in Dubai has purchased 40 of the trackers.

"If somebody doesn't give you the rent, then what are you going to do?" said Makdoom Ifkar, the owner of the firm. "What if the client takes the car into another emirate? It's reassuring to know where our car is."

Nikunj Patel, the logistics manager of trading company Mazaya Al Emarate Trading, said his firm bought the device after "many problems" in the past with employees who "disappear" for several hours with the company car.

He said: "There were major issues because we didn't know where the vehicles were. Our vehicles move from here at 9am and they come back at almost 11pm. The drivers give us excuses. They say things like 'the customers took too long', but we don't have any proof of that. For all I know, they could be sleeping somewhere in the vehicles. I even got tipped off that one of the drivers was using the car on the weekends for his own personal trips."

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Publication:7 Days (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)
Date:Aug 21, 2015
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