ABU DHABI // A display of the latest models of luxury cars, motorcycles and classic cars, a kids entertainment village, and a famous Emirati cartoon show greeted hundreds of visitors who descended on the capital’s Corniche yesterday.
Al Hilal Bank kicked off its annual car festival on Thursday. And yesterday, car enthusiasts, serious buyers and casual visitors swarmed around more than 350 vehicles, including a select range of 2015 cars unveiled by some of the top-of-the-line brand exhibitors. Some also got to test-drive a range of Jeep and Nissan cars on inclined tracks.
“Everybody loves cars,” said Ali Al Qubaisi, an Emirati businessman who owns a BMW X6 and a Ferrari Italia. “I guess a luxury car gives me some prestige.”
He was seen checking out the 2008 Bugatti Veyron, one of as the fastest and most expensive production cars in the world, and other sports cars on display.
“It has a 16-cylinder engine, a speed of 420kph and costs Dh5 million,” said Ahmad Aljhaijy, a sales executive at Deals on Wheels, who came all the way from Dubai for the show. “We’ve received about 50 inquiries alone for this model since you can’t find it anywhere else in the UAE.”
The company brought in a fleet of 25 second-hand luxury cars and four luxury 4x4s to the auto festival. Among them were Ferraris, Bentleys, Rolls Royces, Aston Martins, BMWs, a Porsche Cayenne, Mercedes Benz and a Range Rover Vogue.
“With the exception of the Bugatti Veyron, each costs between Dh900,000 to Dh1 million,” he said.
Kuber Rai, 38, assistant vice president at First Gulf Bank, said the UAE has a long-standing car culture due to the low cost of cars and fuel.
“The cars and fuel here are cheaper and our roads are among the best in the world,” he said.
After a tour of some luxury vehicles, Shaffra Jabir, 27, and her husband Ryan decided to buy a black BMW 316i sedan. It took 15 minutes to close the deal.
“It’s classy and looks good,” said Mrs Jabir, a scientist at New York University Abu Dhabi, who has lived in the city for 11 months.
The four-day festival runs from 4pm to midnight daily under the slogan “This is not a car show, this is family fun”. It ends today.
The “Hala and Nassour” Kids Village kept children entertained while their parents checked out the vehicles on display.
Abu Dhabi Police, Emirates Red Crescent, Abu Dhabi Municipality, Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority, du and the UAE Football Association set up their own pavilions to interact with the public.
A number of kiosks were set up for Emirati women from the Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan Foundation to display their hand-made products and for multi-cuisine restaurants.