The only time I have ever been to the Dubai Auto Show was back in 1995. So this year, marking 20 years since that visit, I had hoped I could go to Dubai to visit this show again. However, life just didn’t work out that way.
My good friend, Ariana Wardak, on the other hand, is currently in the United Arab Emirates, and did get to go to the show. It was her first ever trip to an auto show, and her experience of the show and driving in this region are accounted below:
The Birth of a Car Enthusiast
By Ariana Wardak
There was a time when I couldn’t tell the difference between a Toyota Corolla and a Nissan Altima but those days are now past. Yesterday, I packed my Canon DSLR and hopped on the metro to the Dubai World Trade Centre to catch the 2015 Dubai International Motor Show. It’s the first ever auto show I’ve attended in my 27 years. I’m an Afghan-Canadian girl which makes me very unique among the breeds of car enthusiasts out there. I mean, think about it: What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think about an Afghan girl? Before any type of images conjure up in your mind, let me break some stereotypes! I’m an Afghan-Canadian girl and I love cars!
Speaking of cars, let’s talk about the much-hyped Toyota Mirai as it was one of the first cars showcased in this auto show. The word Mirai in Japanese means “the future” and it makes for an apt name for a vehicle that runs solely on hydrogen fuel cell. This technology is really the future if only for the sheer reason that the sole substance the vehicle emits off of its tailpipes is water. In my native country, Afghanistan, people swear by Toyota Corollas. The fact that Toyota has done away with gasoline as the fuel in this vehicle makes me very excited for the future it can have there in terms of being environmentally friendly whilst being a stylish sedan. The Toyota Mirai – flaunted in blue here – is Toyota’s attempt at being an environmental leader among automakers.
Next up (literally) is the Nissan Patrol. Being that Dubai is the venue for this auto show, this vehicle deserves a mention as it is the top vehicle for the locals with the type of terrain here in the UAE. This 4×4 was presented quite uniquely at the auto show atop rocks and amidst desert sand so as to highlight its quality of being the ‘hero of all terrain.’ The Nissan Patrol is a bit of a villain on Dubai roads if you ask me (due to no fault of its own, of course). I started driving on day three of being in Dubai and let me tell you, this vehicle has a different face on Dubai roads. When you see one of these in your rearview mirror, you know it’s time for you to change your lane. These drivers will tailgate you and flash their high beams at you until you make way for them. Did I mention how many times I’ve (almost) missed exits because other drivers wouldn’t let me into their lane? It’s no fun driving here, to say the least. The Nissan Patrol is the modern Arab’s camel because of its durability in the harsh desert terrain.
Having a vehicle at my disposal is an integral component of my lifestyle so I got myself a rental car just as soon as I arrived in Dubai a couple of weeks ago. I must say, it took me a while to adjust to the 12 lane roads in this one-of-a-kind Middle Eastern city.
Last but not least, you may have heard of the Gulf countries’ extravagance in providing their police force with supercars such as Lamborghinis and Porsches. Well, that my friend is no rumour (even if they are just being used for promotional purposes, and not to actually catch speeders). Among their elite vehicles is the Porsche Panamera eHybrid – which was painted in white and green as a police car. Porsche is going to be just one of the many high-end brands that will be seen patrolling Dubai roads! And patrol they will as they issue tickets of up to 1000 dirhams or about $370 CAD for speeding. With the Panamera being just one of the many supercars in Dubai’s patrol fleet, who wouldn’t want to be a cop here? I’ll be the first to sign up!
Coming back to my love for four-wheelers, you’ve probably figured by now that it wasn’t a love-at-first-sight type of situation. Being a tech fanatic, I grew more and more fond of cars that offered a combination of best in-dash tech and high horsepower and torque. The car I currently own is a 2011 Hyundai Sonata Limited which I’m very sad to have left in Canada. I even looked into shipping costs but I would’ve had to pay an arm and a leg for my baby to join me in the UAE. So until I get my hands on a nice car, I shall quench my (car) thirst with the photos I was able to capture at this auto show.