They're here: Land Rover Defenders tear onto UAE sand and tarmac

The 2020 versions of one of the UAE's favourite vehicles have finally arrived

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The wait is over for a group of 4x4 fans. A batch of the new Land Rover Defenders has finally arrived on UAE shores and the first set of customers have just received their cars.

Al Tayer Motors, the brand’s importer-dealer in the Emirates, took delivery of the Middle East’s first batch of the iconic vehicle this week, an arrival that was keenly anticipated.

The announcement of an all-new Defender was made in 2019, but this particular vehicle has been a common sight in the UAE since the 1950s, when the area was still known as the Trucial States. Defenders quickly built up a reputation as being the ideal tool for those needing to tackle the barren, pre-built-up environment outside the main conurbations.

This latest version has been much anticipated – in 2016, Land Rover announced the car would be shelved permanently, only for minds to be changed almost immediately after considerable furore among fans of the brand.

The new vehicle was put through its paces before a group of all-terrain experts from the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies when it came to Dubai in August 2019 for the motor show.

A distinctive body shell makes the 2020 Defender instantly recognisable from its Range Rover and Discovery peers, and this new version comes complete with the latest electrified powertrains.

There are seven models in the Defender range, these being the S, SE, HSE, First Edition and X, which is the best-in-show version.

Accessory packs, geared towards adapting the vehicle to any situation, include the Explorer, Adventure, Country and Urban pack.

Al Tayer Motors is expecting a second delivery later this year.

Prices start at about Dh225,000.