Gulf Insider’s Charlie Cooksey attends the region’s largest “car culture gatherings” in Dubai.
By Charlie Cooksey
Last month, I was lucky enough to attend the biggest public event held by any automotive manufacturer in the Middle East and the first of its kind in the region – a very special two-day event on November 19th and 20th at The Slab in Dubai Design District.
When I entered the sea of cars, I was so totally in awe of what I saw around that I actually stopped listening to what the person I was with was saying to me and had to ask them to repeat themselves (sorry Anja).
So, what was “Icons of Porsche”?
Well, there were more than 1,000, mostly classic Porsches on show. Hundreds of classic car owners from across the UAE, Bahrain, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, and Oman made the journey to Dubai to display their own beloved – sometimes rare and customized – cars.
Porsche also brought over many special models from their museum in Stuttgart, Germany. Some of the cars on display included Le Mans-winning racing icons such as the 911 GT1 or the 917 KH which celebrated the brand’s history of success in motorsports.
But that’s not all…
This was not something just for ‘petrol-head’ car enthusiasts and Porsche owners. Over seven thousand people came to enjoy the wonderfully festive and family atmosphere.
In addition to celebrating cars, tribute was paid to art and culture and they featured local and international contemporary art, live entertainment, musical performances (I was particularly taken by some of the DJs playing vinyl on good old Technics 1210s), and of course delicious food vendors.
Dr. Manfred Bräunl, Chief Executive Officer of Porsche Middle East and Africa, was impressed with the response from the public: “We know that the region is home to a variety of rare and unique classic Porsches, and we wanted to bring them together with the local community in an event focused on car culture in a family-friendly environment. Our dreams were big and so were our plans but the outcome has astonished us all.
“The passion was felt right from the beginning when we announced the Icons of Porsche. It was incredible to see more than 7,000 car collectors, brand fans, enthusiast clubs, Porsche owners, families and friends come together for a big celebration of motoring culture, and we plan to make this an annual event moving forward,” he added.
Grant Larson, Director Special Projects & Style at Porsche AG, commented: “This is my first visit to the Middle East and I have been overwhelmed by the interest and enthusiasm in our brand and products in this region. I think the guests truly appreciated that this was not another motor show or product display, but simply a space for them to have a good time, connect with each other and learn more about the brand’s heritage first-hand. This event was great to fuel the passion for Porsche, cars in general and showcasing to the public that car culture can be interesting and fun.”
Whether or not you love cars, if you can, I recommend you attend the next event and experience what I did for yourself.
For more information on Porsche, visit their website here.
For more information on Icons of Porsche, visit their website here.