Emma Hall says her 2010 Renault Megane hatchback's little luxuries make her life a little bit less hectic.
My Car: Renault Megane is first-rate workhorse for first-aid trainer
Emma Hall has thus far resisted the call of the big SUV to get her around the UAE in her busy job. Instead, the Dubai-based owner of Medic Education, a first aid training company, visits her clients in a rented 2010 Renault Megane.
It was quite by accident that she stumbled upon the sturdy and reliable little hatchback.
"My Tiida was in for service," Hall says. "When I took the Renault as a replacement, I liked it so much more I decided not to give it back."
Clearly, it was a vast improvement on the Tiida, and had a few more bells and whistles. "It was very smooth and comfortable. The cruise control was a nice addition to have as well."
The CD/MP3 sound system and better climate control sold Hall on the idea of swapping the Tiida for a Megane for the long term.
To Hall, however, one feature of the French car seemed to especially stand out.
"The spacious interior is very important to me," says Hall, who spends a lot of time in her Renault.
Despite the fact that the Megane sits firmly in the small-car class, Hall has no trouble fitting her work equipment into the vehicle, and she has some odd passengers: her travelling companions are the mannequins she uses to demonstrate CPR techniques.
"I needed plenty of room for all my work equipment," she says. "Whenever I'm working I have at least 12 CPR mannequins in the car, as well as the rest of my kit."
Since she spends so many hours a day in the car, with her 12 buddies in tow, the Megane's little luxuries trumped the Tiida's amenities.
"Small things such as lumbar support and Bluetooth make a huge difference to a long journey. Once I had these, I didn't want to give them up," she says.
Hall is a relative newcomer to the roads of the UAE. Though she's lived here for four years, she only recently obtained her driving licence.
"Drivers here are ruthless, especially when you have quite a small car such as mine.
"I always have a bit of a shock when I drive abroad and the other drivers are so courteous," she says.
Though the fast-paced streets of Dubai are a long way from her hometown of Cornwall, in England, where the widest road is two lanes in each direction, Hall has managed to master the roads of the Emirates.
"When I first started driving here it felt like the roads were changing almost every day. I would get disoriented most of the time travelling from emirate to emirate to teach first aid courses," Hall says.
"I now have a pretty good knowledge of the road layout in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. The Garmin satellite navigator is a really good little gizmo," she adds.
Hall intends to keep the Megane for now, impressed with the little extras that have made her life easier.
"When you have a job like mine, you're going to be looking for the most practical way to move around. It's fast, reliable, and incredibly spacious. For now, that's all I need," Hall says.
But maybe one day she will join the ranks of SUV drivers; she is considering a Toyota FJ Cruiser for the future, given its popularity in this country. And what about her dream machine? She says one of Jaguar's earlier models is her desire.
"If I could really get impractical, my dream car would be an E-Type Jaguar. It's absolutely amazing," she says.