Classic cars on show at UAE Al Dhafra Festival

The star attraction in Madinat Zayed was a 1979 Rolls royce Corniche owned by an Abu Dhabi-based collector.
Classic cars on display at the Al Dhafra Festival. Courtesy Cultural programs and Heritage festivals committee
Classic cars on display at the Al Dhafra Festival. Courtesy Cultural programs and Heritage festivals committee

A collection of classic cars transported visitors at this year’s Al Dhafra Festival to a bygone era.

Vintage models of Land Cruisers, Nissan Patrols and GMCs took to the tarmac at the festival in Madinat Zayed – but the star attraction was a 1979 Rolls Royce Corniche.

Abu Dhabi-based collector Mohammed Al Mazrouei entered the Rolls in the festival’s classic car competition.

One of five vintage cars he owns, the 35-year-old two-door navy blue Corniche is unmodified and runs well on its monthly spins.

“We are passionate about cars, yet we know very little about cars’ history,” said Salem Al Mazrouei, who is in charge of the Classic Cars competition at the festival. “This competition is meant to get people interested in such history.

“The cars arrive here several days before the actual competition and because they are all together, people get talking about each other’s model.”

The festival is a great venue for people to meet and learn more about their passion for cars, and in particular the history behind them, he said.

Many of the cars on show have become a part of the cultural heritage of the country and are much more than a mode of transport for Emiratis, organisers said.

“So far, we have 20 cars, mostly from Abu Dhabi and Dubai, but also from Saudi Arabia,” Mr Al Mazrouei said.

“Among them we have the first car ever to arrive on Delma Island.

“It is a 1968 Jeep, and Sheikh Zayed himself drove it five times. Its owner passed away and the car now belongs to his son, Mohammed Eissa, who also lives on Delma Island.”

The top three winners in the two categories, for 4x4 and saloon cars, will be awarded a total of Dh100,000.

The festival will close on December 28.

nhanif@thenational.ae

Published: December 23, 2014 04:00 AM

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