Dubai’s car culture
Dubai has a love affair with cars to rival its fascination for malls, fashion and fine food – so much so that Lamborghinis and Ferraris are practically part of the furniture. Here’s our pick of the best places for rev heads to get among the action – or simply sit back and watch the pros.
Explore the luxury car capital of Arabia
A joy for all the car lovers
Being in Dubai can sometimes feel like having a front-row seat at a luxury car parade. But there’s more to the city’s car culture than a passion for owning and driving the finest automobiles on the planet.
Celebrating our city’s love for cars is a variety of automobile events and festivals. Foremost among them is the Dubai Motor Festival, held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai. The festival, one of the largest consumer events of its kind, is a petrol-heads magnet, with its grand parades, car park drift championships, car-themed light shows, and F1 car displays.
For those with a love for vintage automobiles, the Emirates Classic Car Festival is the pit-stop. An initiative by Emaar properties, in collaboration with Ministry of Culture, Youth & Community Development and the Automobile and Touring Club of the UAE (ATCUAE), the festival is held in the buzzing Downtown area, and anyone with a classic (pre-1986) vehicle is invited to participate. In previous years, the cars on display have dated from 1928 to 1984, and included Corvette Stingrays to Bentleys and Rolls-Royces.
While a trade event, the Dubai Motor Show, the largest automotive event in the region, with visitors numbering around 100,000, is also a diary imperative for car lovers, with top manufacturers showcasing their latest and greatest. There’s automobile-themed merchandise, events for women, and a separate arena for biking enthusiasts.
The Emirates National Auto Museum, tucked away on a stretch of highway between Abu Dhabi and the Liwa desert, is a unique museum showcasing the private collection of His Highness Sheikh Hamad Bin Hamdan Al Nahyan, a member of the Abu Dhabi ruling family. It’s an easy drive from Dubai and is home to everything from souped-up super-trucks and military Jeeps, to rare classic cars and prototypes.
Also just a short drive from Dubai is the Sharjah Classic Cars Museum, which houses vintage cars as well as motorbikes, and bicycles from the early 20th century, all offering an insight into the evolution of motoring technology.
Petrolheads with a need for speed might explore the Dubai Autodrome. Get behind the wheel of the car of your choice - from an Audi TT to a McLaren - on a purpose-built track, or have some go-karting fun at the Kartdrome. Home of all things motoring in Dubai, the Autodrome hosts an array of events all year round, plus track days (allowing people to safely drive their own cars on the tracks) and can also be used to host private and corporate events.
Dubai Corporation of Tourism & Commerce Marketing