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Travelogue - Visit to a Petrolhead's Dreamland - Dubai

Snapshot: We have brought for you stories from our latest Dubai visit.

Of all the earthlings, the human race is one of the most determined species. If we decide to accomplish something, we get it done no matter what, and that includes going against the mother nature sometimes. Dubai, the most populous city in the UAE is a perfect example of this determination. Carved out of nothing but desert and ocean, one couldn't believe what they see in Dubai.

Dubai's Road Network from Burj Khalifa

But we are not here to talk about the city as such, are we? No, we are here to talk about things we do best - that is, to talk about automobiles or cars per se, cars that drive Dubai. Dubai is an interesting city from an automotive point of view and everything that relates to cars makes you learn new things everyday, every second while you are in the city.

Dubai Metro Station

But why choose Dubai? I am an avid traveler who has travelled the length and breadth of the country. I am also fascinated by automobiles and being an Automobile engineer, I always had a deep connection with vehicles. This is why I try to mix my travel and love for automobiles by doing road-trips and no place better than Dubai to check out exotic cars.

You can even win Porsches in Dubai!

Driving Etiquettes

To get the things rolling, let us discuss about the driving etiquettes of the Dubai drivers and the things we can learn from them. Drivers in Dubai give immense respect to pedestrians and cars stop at an appropriate distance when someone is crossing the road. And the same thing goes with pedestrians also. If only there is an indication of road crossing, they will cross the road, no matter if the roads are empty or not.

Bentley Limousine

Similarly, there are strict traffic rules which everyone follows. If one stops a taxi, they will only stop at a bus stand or by-lane/service lane and not in the middle of roads. Flash cameras are installed everywhere and no one can overspeed. Even one can't smoke or eat in a taxi and if one does so, the taxi owner will be fined. It's difficult to spot a police patrolling unit since the norms and fine structure are so strict that nobody dares to break them.

Ford Raptor

The cars we spotted

Now this is the most important and fascinating thing about this city. For a petrolhead like me, Dubai is a heaven. One can spot all their favourite and dream cars everywhere in Dubai. And the ratio in which one spots cars here is even more interesting –

SUV> Sedan> Supercar > Hatchback.

Modified Chevrolet Camaro

Some of the awesome cars we spotted in Dubai-

  • Muscle cars like Chevrolet Camaro, Dodge Challenger and Ford Mustang
  • Jeeps like Wrangler and Renegade
  • Lifestyle trucks like Ford Raptor, F150
  • Supercars like Ferrari, Mercedes SLS AMG and Lamborghini
  • Day-to-day vehicles like Kia, Infinity and Pugeuot
  • SUVs like Hummer and Toyota Land Cruiser Prado.

Lexus as Taxi

Taxis

As soon as one gets out of the Airport, Lexus and Innovas welcome you and take you to your destiny. While we hardly spot Lexus in India, one can avail a taxi ride there by giving as low as 50AED as the starting meter cost. Otherwise, Toyota Corollas and Hyundai Sonatas are the regular taxis one can get from the streets and all are automatics. There are hardly any manual cars in Dubai.

 

Land Cruiser Prado having fun

Desert Safari

While everything else is a class apart in Dubai, if you really want to know about the automotive capabilities of this small yet big city, you have to go on a lifetime experience called Dune Bashing or Desert Safari, as it is popularly called. Spanning over 6 hours, the actual bashing part is hardly 30 minutes in all, but what you will experience will truly be something mesmerizing. The Safari takes place some 50 kms outside of Dubai en route to famous Sharjah city.

4*4 Prado can float on sand

Organized by various tour operators, the safari is divided into groups. Every car is a Land Cruiser Prado with six people sitting capacity. Each operator takes about 7-10 cars along and they have their spot and routes, fixed in the desert. Apart from the thrill you get, you realize how fun-filled job this is for the drivers. Constantly chattering on radio in Arabic, they put the cars to the extreme yet comes out successful after each climb or descent.

The enormous Sharjah desert

After one such steep descent where the driver was trying to show his capabilities, I said to the driver -'such a brilliant piece of engineering this machine is!' And his response left me embarrassed yet happy - 'Sir, it's not like everything machine does. Our drivers are equally responsible for putting these cars to their limits. A not so good driver won't be able to get the best out of these machines' and I immediately realized - 'Ain't this what we do in our Job, get the best out of cars'.

Why should SUVs have all the fun? 

As we were nearing the roads from the desert, our car got stuck in the sand and it had to be towed out which made me rethink my opening statement - can humans really fight mother earth?

Click here to read our Kashmir Travelogue!

Stucked due to over ambition! 

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