Nix single user install nix.conf location

I am trying to provide nix.conf with experimental features enabled in a git repo, assuming the users won’t have admin access to the machines and will rely on nix single-user installations.
The plan is to ship the repo with a (the repo-users will run) which will set the NIX_USER_CONF_FILES to nix.conf in the repo. In order to this I have a single user installation and run NIX_USER_CONF_FILES=$(pwd)/nix.conf (from the repo directory) to provide the path to the nix.conf. But when running nix develop the following error appears error: experimental Nix feature 'nix-command' is disabled; use '--extra-experimental-features nix-command' to override suggesting setting NIX_USER_CONF_FILES has not worked. Surely doing something wrong here. Would someone kindly advice onto what is going wrong? Below is contents of nix.conf

experimental-features = nix-command flakes repl-flake
auto-optimise-store = true
bash-prompt-prefix = (nix:$name)\040
max-jobs = auto
sandbox = false

Successfully did this by setting the path below
export NIX_CONF_DIR=$(pwd)/
so shipping the repo with a nix.conf and running the above command before nix commands like nix develop does the job.