x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Video-rental firm Limebox offers a little slice of convenience

The DVD and video game rental outfit says it can have your order in your hands within an hour.

Limebox offers DVD delivery into your hands. Courtesy iStockphoto.
Limebox offers DVD delivery into your hands. Courtesy iStockphoto.

Limebox, a DVD and video game rental and delivery service based in Dubai, says it can be at your door with your goods within one hour of ordering. Alex Ritman gives it a go.

How it works

Limebox is ludicrously easy to use. You basically sign up online (limebox.me), tell them where you're going to want things delivered, choose your payment option and you're off.

Then you can sift through the huge database of DVDs and games, select what you want, what time you want it delivered (assuming it's in stock), sit back and wait for the doorbell to ring. Boom. And then, once you're done, go back online and tell them when to collect.

The cost

There are three options. For Dh75 per month, you can have one disc at a time (and change it every day if you like), for Dh95 per month you can have two, or with a one-off payment of Dh150 you can rent a total of 10 discs, up to two at a time.

You also need to give a deposit of Dh150, which is returned at the end. Oh, and there's only a late fee with the third option, which is Dh5 per day (after 48 hours).

Where the service works

Currently, Limebox's DVDs and games are available for delivery in Dubai Marina, JLT, Jumeirah Beach Residences, Tecom, Discovery Gardens, Knowledge Village, Media City and the Greens.

There are also plans to expand to Barsha and Mall of the Emirates by autumn and Downtown Dubai and DIFC by the end of the year. With delivery running through the day (10am to midnight) you can always get things delivered to work if that's more convenient.

The collection

Limebox currently has around 2,000 DVDs and 80 video games. Having linked up with the major distributors, it gets titles as soon as they hit the shelves (or sometimes just a day later).

While there are the usual big-name blockbusters (War Horse and The Grey are among the new additions), there's a decent selection of Arabic titles (including Nadine Labaki's Where Do We Go Now? - unless the copy currently in my DVD player is Limebox's only one, whoops!) and plenty of Bollywood.

There's also a huge selection of TV shows, perfect for those forthcoming summer months.

The logistics

Although Limebox has a base in Al Quoz, it's basically run out of a van full of DVDs that is constantly on the move. When you book online, the driver gets a message on his mobile. You get a confirmation email and the driver works out his schedule to get to you for the time you asked for.

Everything (aside from the route-planning) is done via the wondrous powers of the internet, which really is going to be big.

Can they really deliver in one hour?

That's the Limebox promise and, from what we've experienced, it works. The idea is that you can order your DVD at the same time as you would order a pizza.

If, however, bad traffic or the like means the delivery might be late, they won't leave you hanging - the driver will let Limebox HQ know and you'll get an SMS with a new ETA.

How is this better than simply renting from a shop?

Well, for starters Limebox comes to you, which is rather handy if a) you're not near a rental shop, b) it's mid-August and approaching 50 degrees outside, or c) you can't find your shoes.

Also, the two monthly deals don't have annoying 48-hour return policies so you can't accumulate pesky fines because you're stuck in the office or out for the evening. The UAE may already be bursting with delivery services, but Limebox is a welcome addition.

Sign me up

Head to limebox.me and take up the free trial to see what we're talking about.