No country in the world says exotic supercar more than Dubai. Emiratis and expats there are obsessed with opulent supercars. The glitzier, the better. In fact, supercars are so normal in Dubai that owners are customising their high-end cars to make them extra special.
So why is Dubai the supercar capital of the world? This masterfully planned city is filled with ostentatious luxury and audacious architecture from its swanky hotels, sumptuous shopping malls and spectacular skylines. Supercars simply don’t look out of place and are a natural part of Dubai’s hyper-consumerism. It’s all about keeping up with the Jones’s. Supercars are a status symbol and you quite simply aren’t cutting it if you don’t have one.
Why are there so many supercars in Dubai?
Now business is booming again in Dubai and with no tax to pay on supercars, they can be purchased for half the price we’d pay here in the UK. The most obvious reason why there are so many supercars in Dubai quite simply comes down to the fact that most people who live in the city are rich. Turki bin Abdullah al “Saud” of the House of Saud is only in his mid-twenties and owns a fleet of not supercars, but hypercars. It’s insane.
When the economy tanked in UAE at the height of the financial crisis in 2008/09 lots of supercars were abandoned, and lay dust-ridden on the roadside. Why? In most Muslim countries in the world where Islamic Law applies, the relationship to money is much more regulated and debt is a crime.
For those supercar owners who lost their investments when the crisis hit, their only choice was to go to prison or flee abroad. Since the majority of people living in Dubai are expats, many affected by the financial crash just went back home. Leaving everything behind, including their cars. We’re going back a bit now, but in 2011, one Ferrari Enzo worth more than $1million ended up abandoned in an airport parking lot, and ended up in a police pound. Complete sacrilege!
Your visit to Dubai
If you are travelling to Dubai for the first time, expect a ‘cargasm.’ Supercars are every bit as common in Dubai as Ford Fiestas and Vauxhall Corsas are on the roads back in the UK. Expats living in Dubai don’t bat an eyelid at a gold Bugatti Veyron or a neon green Lamborghini Gallardo. The luxury supercar is a part of the city’s fabric.
In prep for your Dubai experience, why not have a go at a supercar-driving day in the UK before you go? There are plenty of options available for track days, though experience day provider Into the Blue has an extensive range of rated options, which you can see here. If observing the supercars in Dubai gets too much, and you simply must have a go, book yourself in for some circuits at the Dubai Autodrome!
Police super cars
Super cars aren’t just the domain of the rich and famous in Dubai. The Police in Dubai own the world’s fastest police car. Police officers across the world are usually associated with pretty dull, uninteresting cars when it comes to patrol vehicles. In the UK most police vehicles are nothing to write home about. We are used to seeing Ford Focus and Vauxhall Astra cruising around our streets.
Well, not in Dubai. Nowhere else in the world would you find a police car as outlandish. With a suite of supercars at its disposal the Dubai police force have a 14-strong fleet of supercars, including a Bugatti Veyron, a bespoke Aston Martin One-77 (one of only 77 available in the world!), a Lamborghini Aventador, a Ferrari FF and a Bentley Continental GT. As well as supercars, Dubai Police are aiming to have at least 25 per cent hybrid or electric cars by 2030, and have already added three hybrid Porsche Panameras and two BMW i8s.
The Veyron, though, is the cream of the Dubai Police’s supercar crop, with a staggering top speed of 253 mph (407 km/h). Its 16-cylinder engine produces 1,000 horsepower, sending it from 0 to 60mph in just two and a half seconds. That’s a pretty impressive police chase.
It would be easy to assume the Police need supercars simply to keep up with the villains in supercars. It’s not the reason they have such a head-turning fleet. The fleet isn’t actually used for high-speed chases. According to Major Sultan Al Marri of Dubai police’s General Department of Transport & Rescue, the supercars are part of a drive to improve communication with the public. They are driven around high-profile areas of the city.
The Dubai Corporation for Ambulance Services (DCAS) has launched one of its fastest responders, an ambulance super car that travels at a speed of 200kmph. It is the first of its kind and is equipped with first aid boxes and other equipment required by ambulances.