Anybody who has frequented Dubai's arts hub Alserkal Avenue in the past couple of months may well have spotted a noticeable warehouse just across the street, bearing the name Car Vault. The latest addition to Al Quoz's thriving district has its own works of art within its walls: the new business is not only a luxury-car sales and storage business, but also an official partner with Dubai-based hypercar-makers W Motors.
"We had this idea that we were going to have an urban look, a warehouse feel, which I don't think has ever been done before in Dubai," managing partner Sibtain Jaffer explains of his business's concept. "We wanted to get a nice warehouse, fit it up, very chic and elegant, put all our cars in and have a different concept. We wanted to do car sales and storage hand in hand. When we got this place, then there was the partnership with W Motors, a bit of the car sales, a bit of the storage, it all fell into place.
"Usually, in Dubai, when you go to any car showroom, be it used or new, as soon as you walk in, you've got the white tiles, the white lights, and it's a very hospital feel. Sterile. We're different, and different works."
With 30 years of experience in car sales between them, the team behind Car Vault – completed by Jaffer's brother Asif, both Tanzanians of Indian origin who grew up in Dubai, and business partner Shahram Parvizi – had clients from across the spectrum.
"Because we've been in the car industry that long, we have clients all over the book," Jaffer says. "So we've got cars ranging from Dh300,000 all the way up to Dh3 million. But we don't really have a set minimum. We're doing a bit of storage as well for our very high-end clientele, so when they don't have space in their garages, they give them to us, we take care of them, and they're at liberty to take their cars as and when they like."
The collection – which currently numbers about 80 cars, with plans to expand to 150 to 200 – is impressive. It ranges from two 1960s Chevrolet Corvette C1s (one with less than 1,400 kilometres on the clock) and a pair of AC Cobras through to a variety of Porsches, Ferraris, a Dodge Viper and even an eccentric little Polaris Slingshot three-wheeler, plus stately Bentleys and Rolls-Royces. But the standout not-for-sale exhibits are a brace of W Motors cars: a Lykan HyperSport used in the actual filming of Furious 7 (replete with crash damage) and a non-operational concept/prototype version of the forthcoming Fenyr SuperSport.
Although it has been operating for two months now, Car Vault is still in soft opening, with an official launch planned to coincide with the unveiling of the Fenyr SuperSport and the Dubai International Motors Show in November.
“We’re just really, really looking forward to having it once it comes, and we can test it and drive it,” Jaffer says of the Fenyr. “Look at that car – I don’t think that anything compares to it.”
After that, Car Vault’s next move is likely to be extending its car-storage service, both in Dubai and the Gulf’s favourite summer motoring destination: London.
“We’re looking to do something there,” Jaffer confirms. “With London being such a crowded city, I think the storage part would sell even better there than it would in Dubai. In Dubai, the demand that we’ve had has been big. People want to store their car for a month, two or three months, even a year. We’re going to look for another spot close by, keep it air-conditioned, the same 24/7 access with your own card reader and your own CCTV camera. The whole point is that make it accessible.”